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Competition body cracks down on unit pricing in large shops

Posted: 1 September 2023

By Greg Pitcher

Scales unit pricing supermarkets
Scales unit pricing supermarkets

Independent retailers with large premises could face strict new labelling rules after a key watchdog urged ministers to overhaul unit pricing laws. The Competitions and Market Authority (CMA) called for shops to be forced to offer more comparable information to consumers. The legislation already requires labelling of certain goods in terms of their cost per specific measurement, but a CMA probe found “compliance concerns” as well as identifying grey areas that led to inconsistent display of information.

The watchdog called on ministers to ensure only one unit measurement could be used for each product type. It also said the new legislation should specify exactly how unit pricing should be displayed.

CMA chief executive Sarah Cardell said: “We’ve found that not all retailers are displaying prices as clearly as they should.

“The law itself needs to be tightened.”

While some independents welcomed the call for clear guidelines on unit pricing, others said it would be unnecessary work for a sector that relies on other factors than price to create a positive experience for customers.

This article first appeared in the September 2023 edition of Fine Food Digest.