Asda is to change its promotional practices after an investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) raised concerns about the supermarket’s pricing tactics.
The CMA singled out Asda regarding concerns in several specific areas.
As a result, the supermarket has committed to ensuring it complies with the following by August 2016:
- ‘Now’ prices will not be advertised for longer than the ‘was’ price, ensuring they are a meaningful comparison.
- Multi-buy offers will represent better value than a single product before the offer.
- Multi-buy offers will not immediately be followed by ‘was/now’ promotions, so it will be easier for shoppers to tell what is a good offer.
The CMA says Asda has already started to make these changes and it will check on it after six months. If the supermarket doesn’t comply, the regulator can ultimately take the supermarket to court.
- See our columnist, Jasmine Birtles’, feature on Sneaky supermarkets.
Though Asda was the only company named regarding promotional prices, other supermarkets have also been told by the regulator to ensure ‘was/now’ offers and multi-buy deals are genuine, so shoppers can see when they are getting a real discount and make informed shopping decisions.
The investigation comes following a super-complaint made in 2015 by the consumer group Which?.
‘Supermarkets need to ensure practices aren’t misleading’
Michael Grenfell, CMA executive director of enforcement, says: “The CMA’s examination of the market, following the super-complaint, found that supermarkets generally take compliance seriously, but there were some promotional practices that could mislead shoppers.
“We welcome the commitment we have received from Asda as well as the engagement from other supermarkets, and expect them all to ensure that their practices are not misleading and that shoppers are better informed and able to choose the products that most suit their needs.”
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Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd, adds: “Following our super-complaint last year, we are pleased to see the CMA investigation has resulted in Asda taking action to stop misleading special offers .
“Asda has been found breaking the rules and now must immediately clean up its act.”