I agree with Brian’s point about the commentary does blend 2 subjects.
However, I am going to attribute part of that because of your familiarity with the players, the companies involved and perhaps a possible reluctance to state a couple of items either on your mind, or on the mind of people around you.
First to the company that was referenced I have had a distributor / store owner tell me about push back or backlash related to the company because store owners have experienced them building a company owned store or another store right on top of them. (his description months ago ?). The take away was they are in or going into the company owned store model and operators did not like that ?
I really need to clear my thoughts and separate some of these topics.
If we are talking consolidation in the industry, I have very similar experience here as I have worked with the 600 lb gorilla that has forced consolidation in a different but similar industry. Involved in all aspects of the supply, distribution and operations chain. Have bought most of the major players in the industry. Won business and contracts that other smaller companies could not afford. Yet there are still companies that shine and do a better job in certain segments of the industry.
This includes taking or moving a mostly all cash business / industry from all cash to becoming the largest operator of card systems North America possibly the world.