Privately, Co-op executives were dreading the outcome of Monday’s Nisa vote, where a handful of rebel block shareholders risked killing the £143m deal. In the end, it was passed by the narrowest of margins. Booker and Tesco getting the CMA green light for their own £3.7bn merger always looked more certain. 

Four tweets from the start of the week summed up the industry’s mood when both deals got the go-ahead. Nisa retailer Harris Aslam tweeted “End of an era, though thoroughly excited for the future!” while Londis retailer Steve Bassett said “Hurrah! Should be good news for all Booker-served customers.” 

Others, like wholesale and retail consultant John Heagney were less pleased: “This quango (the CMA) is totally ineffective and lacks the strength it should possess. The Tesco domination continues and the company is untouchable by regulators who are scared to curtail its activity.” 

David Sands, who sold his 28-store convenience chain to the Co-op in 2012, summed it up perfectly though: “And so a new chapter for progressive independents begins… huge opportunities but also huge challenges for all.” 

RN has helped steer you through many previous challenges such as tobacco legislation and the National Living Wage. We have also presented many opportunities to grow your business.

But our market-leading analysis will continue to keep you one step ahead, starting with a special analysis of what the merger means for you in this week’s issue.