Supermarkets sign up to new pricing principles
It was announced on Friday that the eight biggest supermarkets in the UK have signed up to the new pricing principles set out by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), which will hopefully see an end to bogus deals and misleading prices.
Offers such as “Was £4, now £3” and “Now Half Price” must be sold at their original price for longer than they are on special offer. Many supermarkets have also been found to inflate the prices, only to offer them at a discounted price the following week.
In addition, supermarkets will have to make sure that items that claim “Buy big, Save big” do actually fulfil their promise. Consumer group Which?, has often found that consumers can save money if they buy their shopping in smaller packs.
The eight supermarkets are Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Aldi, Lidl, Morrisons, Marks and Spencer and the Co-op and have all agreed to make sure their special offers are “meaningful and fair, so shoppers can make the right decisions”. However, Britain’s second biggest supermarket Asda has refused to take part in the scheme, claiming that it will not benefit their shoppers but they may join it at a later date.
Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: “When household budgets are squeezed and food prices are one of people’s top financial worries, it’s unacceptable that shoppers are confused into thinking that they’re getting a good deal when that might not be the case.” It is hoped that this will be the starting block to further regulation and fairer pricing, so that unit pricing of goods on special offer can also be seen.
Supermarkets will likely face enforcement action by regulators if they are found to be not complying with the new rules.