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Eight supermarkets except Asda sign OFT’s fair price code

Written on:November 30, 2023
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Supermarkets to offer fair promotional deals to shoppers

Eight supermarkets including Morrisons, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Aldi, Marks & Spencers, Waitrose, the Co-operative, and LIdl barring Asda, have signed a pact to offer “fair and meaningful” promotional offers to customers, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) said.

Defending its stand, Asda said that it did not sign up for the agreement because it felt it would be unable to support one of the recommended approaches of the OFT which says that retailers can only run a promotion for as long as they have established the price for.

The OFT has been investigating the supermarket pricing and promotional methods. The regulatory noted the way prices are displayed, advertised and promoted in stores and observed that the UK supermarkets artificially inflated prices to make discounts look more attractive.

Among the set of principles that have been agreed upon by the UK supermarkets are the promotional offers like “was £3, now £2″ or “half price”, which will now only be offered for the same or less time than the product was initially sold at the higher price.

The UK supermarkets have also been directed to put true claims on the pre-printed claims on packs such as “bigger pack, better value”. There should not be a cheaper way of buying the same volume of the product elsewhere in the same store, even if there is a promotion on smaller packs of the same item, the OFT said.

Investigations into the supermarkets’ practices were initiated when reports of customers getting confused by the way prices are displayed, advertised and promoted, began to rise. The OFT said that there was no breach of law by the supermarkets but it had observed certain inconsistencies in their interpretation of the law.

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