M&S and supermarkets slammed for short-changing shoppers on price labels

Date:01-08-2013 07:58:16 read:2

M&S and supermarkets slammed for short-changing shoppers on price labels

Marks & Spencer, Tesco and other big name supermarkets were last night slammed for short-changing shoppers by failing to back a campaign for clearer pricing of products in their stores.

M&S has yet to 'take any action' in backing the campaign for clearer pricing Photo: Bloomberg

Consumer watchdog Which? revealed that just four grocers had backed its call for a "consistent unit price" on labels, such as £1 per 100g, so shoppers can easily compare the cost of their weekly shop.

Morrisons supported the "Price It Right" campaign at its launch in September last year. And last night Which? said the Co-op, Waitrose and Aldi had also now signed up.

But M&S and Iceland have yet to "take any action". Which? revealed Asda has only said it will "look at improving its labelling". Sainsbury's and Lidl are "working on" transparent pricing and Tesco is "making active steps".

Mary Creagh, shadow environment secretary, said: ""Big retailers must make sure shoppers are able to compare prices and products easily.

"This announcement will put pressure on those retailers who have yet to act, and if they don't the Government should consider legislation to force them to."

Which? executive director Richard Lloyd told the Daily Telegraph: "If M&S and Iceland think their prices are competitive why aren't they letting shoppers easily compare the cost of their products?"

He added: "Hard-pressed shoppers want to know at a glance what the cheapest deal is without having to get their calculators out, so it's a win for consumers that fuor major supermarkets have committed to improving their labels.

"The remaining supermarkets should now follow suit."

Last summer, Which? said three in four people felt supermarkets were trying to mislead them on price. It claimed the biggest confusion came with fruit and vegetables.

Sainsbury's was selling a pack of four baking potatoes for 75p but also sold them loose at £1.20 per kilo. Calculations on the store's website showed those sold in the pack were far cheaper per unit, at 19p each, versus 36p for those sold loose.

Tesco yesterday said it was continuing to talk to Which? but had some concerns about unit pricing on multi-buy promotions such as 3 for 2. M&S said its current price labels met current legislation. A spokeswoman said: "Our pricing is simple, consistent and transparent and our customers have told us they are happy with our approach."

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