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Pricing Practices (Groceries Market)

Volume 600: debated on Thursday 15 October 2015

On behalf of the Government, I am today announcing that we have published a response to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) welcoming its report and recommendations in respect of the super-complaint made by Which? alleging pricing malpractice in the groceries market.

The Government are pleased to see the CMA does not consider there to be a systemic problem in the grocery market in how retailers present prices. We also welcome CMA’s plans to take action where it has identified examples of potentially misleading and confusing practices. The CMA did find however that more could be done to reduce the complexity in unit pricing to make it a more useful comparison tool for consumers.

Addressing the recommendation concerning price promotions and special offers the Chartered Trading Standards Institute is today publishing its consultation on a revised pricing practices guide. BIS will consult later in the autumn on proposals to simplify and improve unit pricing to help the consumer compare prices more easily across similar products and therefore identify the best deals. We will continue to work closely with Which? CTSI, retailers and supermarkets, including through the BIS expert working group, and welcome continued input from the CMA.