So, two of the big names in grocery retailing, Sainsbury's and Asda, are poised to become one. In what is set to be the biggest deal in grocery retailing since 2004 when Safeway was taken over by Morrison, it looks as though Tesco's position as top dog of the supermarket giants with a 27% market share may be under threat and the big four will become the big three.
Stiff competition from German discount retailers Lidl and Aldi meant it was only a matter of time until something had to change within this sector. Initial media reports have signalled that the deal will look to maintain all or the majority of Sainsbury's and Asda stores as the merger recognises the complementary geographical spread of each retailer's stores: Asda being stronger in the North and Sainsbury's in the South. Evidently, this mega-merger will increase buying power significantly for both retailers.
It remains to be seen how the Competition and Markets Authority will view the deal. One particularly interesting area will be the retailers' combined share of the toy market, in which Sainsbury's have already made significant gains with their acquisition of Argos.
Whatever the outcome, supermarket retailing remains one of the fastest-moving, exciting sectors and this deal is one to watch.
Clare Pope, always has her head in a book - current read The Exiles Return by Elisabeth de Waal