Supermarket chains see support for unit pricing

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 3rd July 2009

Consumers are reportedly responding well to the increased information offered by unit pricing, according to some of the leading supermarket chains.

Unit pricing law came into effect on Wednesday, although retailers have been given until December 1 to fully comply. Small retailers are not required to introduce unit pricing due to the costs involved but are welcome to participate if they please.

Andrew Hall, the Director of Corporate and Public Affairs for Woolworths, said feedback from customers had uncovered a positive response for the scheme.”We actually have directly asked our customers, at least those that are registered on our loyalty program, we’ve sent them emails and surveyed them on line and around about 50 per cent are saying that they’re finding it useful when they’re shopping,” he told ABC radio.

“Now that there’s uniformity and that there’s certainty across the entire supermarket sector, it’s something that the customer will actually start to learn to use more when they are shopping,” he added. “The Government’s guidelines we’re quite pleased with because they’re quite sensible, they ensure that when customers are looking at prices on the shelves they can see clearly what the actual price of the product is, but when they…next to that is a price measured per unit and I think as customers start to understand how that works they’ll be able to better us it.”

Matthew Barnes, Managing Director Buying for Aldi – which was the first supermarket chain to introduce unit pricing, echoed similar sentiments, believing the addition of a price per 100g/ml on packaged goods was valuable for shoppers.

“We have no doubt unit pricing has an important role to play, bringing enhanced transparency and competitiveness to the Australian retail sector,” he said. “The code will ensure consistency across different retailers whilst being an accurate indicator for consumers on competitive pricing.”

The Federal Government will soon begin advertising the new scheme to the public.