TEN supermarkets within a five-kilometre radius of Launceston's city centre is a ``ridiculous'' number, the Tasmanian Small Business Council says.
A proposed $10 million Woolworths development slated for Wellington Street next year would make it 11.
Council executive officer Robert Mallett said major chains stripped towns of profitable independent grocers and corner stores, which were then unable to support their community by providing jobs or funding for local projects or sports teams.
Mr Mallett said the Coles and Woolworths duopoly accounted for 80 per cent of all grocery spending nationally; in Tasmania, this figure rises to 88 per cent, and in Launceston, nearly 90 per cent.
``Between them, they are trying to increase their share of the market (by building new supermarkets), an extra 10 per cent at the expense of smaller independent stores, and we cannot continue to afford that,'' he said.
Coles local communications manager Julia Balderstone said the company was committed to Launceston, after spending $12 million in 18 months in Launceston, opening its new store at Mowbray and refurbishing its Meadow Mews store.
``These two developments alone have resulted in the creation of an extra 130 jobs in the local community,'' she said.
Launceston City Council general manager Robert Dobrzynski said the council had spent the past six months working with Woolworths on its proposal, which includes a 3800 square metre supermarket and 160 undercover car parking spaces.
``These developments create jobs during the construction phase and in the operational phase later on, which is fantastic for our economy,'' Mr Dobrzynski said.
The proposal would still need to be assessed against the planning scheme, but working with developers in advance meant the council received high-quality development applications from the start, Mr Dobrzynski said.