Government to make price comparisons easier for supermarket shoppers

The Government is to look into ways supermarket price comparisons can be made simpler for shoppers, Consumer Minister Nick Boles announced today.

The plans are set out in the Government’s response to the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) investigation into a super-complaint made by Which? alleging misleading pricing practices in the groceries market.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) will launch a consultation later in the autumn looking at options to improve unit pricing, including measures to simplify existing unit pricing legislation.

The CMA report did not find systemic problems in the way that supermarkets display prices and found thatgenerally retailers are taking compliance seriously to avoid such problems occurring. However the CMA plans to take action where it has identified examples of potentially misleading and confusing practices.

Boles said: “Shoppers need to be able to get the best deal and make comparisons easily so we will look at how we can make information on price as clear and as simple as possible.

“The Government takes the Competition and Market Authority’s findings and recommendations seriously and it is important that the supermarkets do too.”

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute has also today launched its consultation on the Pricing Practices Guide clarifying how the legislation applies to certain promotional practices – a key recommendation made by the CMA.