Friday, January 28

Supermarkets. Special formats, deceptive prices … These false promotions pinned by 60 million consumers

“Not fair promotions”. In its new issue, the magazine 60 million consumers conducted the investigation of supermarket business practices, sometimes not always very clear… He followed 63 products on promotion in six stores, Lidl, Auchan, Carrefour, E.Leclerc, Intermarché and U Express. Verdict: Supermarkets compete in inventiveness to “confuse” customers, and their “promos” sometimes border on deceptive commercial practice.

The consumer magazine indicates that the majority of the 63 products were paid for with the mentioned reduction. But anomalies were noted in the promo itself. Here are the three main ones:

More expensive products after than before the promo

A first type of mess that does not please in times of price inflation. According to 60 million consumers, some commodities end up more expensive after than before the promotion period. “We have seen it on several references at E.Leclerc; it’s also common at U Express, and it happens at Lidl. In total, 11% of the products on sale were more expensive afterwards than before, ”explains the magazine.

Would the broken price be a way of blurring the benchmarks of the consumer and a way to then move the price of the item up? One of the examples given concerns a Milka chocolate bar, at 2.29 euros before the promotion, 1.51 euros during and… 3.09 after the promotion, ie + 35% than the initial price.

“It is a series of stratagems that we know which allow manufacturers to increase prices without it being too visible”, comments to BFMTV Lionel Maugain, head of the magazine’s Silver section.

A crossed out price different from the normal price of the product

Another widely spotted false promo: a reference price, crossed out on the poster and replaced by the reduction, which is not the correct one. “Almost all of the prices crossed out in the Auchan and U Express flyers of our panel were different from those found in the store before the promotion”, notes the magazine.

We would therefore have the impression of making a great deal, while the reduction would be less.

An alleged misleading commercial practice, even supermarkets defend themselves by stating that there is no benchmark price obligation in the event of a “shock price” offer.

Special formats that confuse the consumer

A third major category of promotions that are not really: formats different from normal packaging. “Limited offer”, “maxi size”, “family size”, so many offers put forward on the shelves and which, however, often do not offer a very attractive price compared to the normal size.

60 million consumers give the example of a Fleury Michon ham from Lidl, displayed “6 slices including 3 slices free” for 2.95 euros, while the same package of 6 slices is sold for 2.93. The additional installments are therefore in fact paid 2 cents by the consumer.

The consumer magazine also deplores that stores promote products without price reduction in their catalogs, or that certain promotions are simply not found in stores on the day indicated, again at the limit of deceptive commercial practice. Certain promotion periods are also not respected, so that “the discounted price can sometimes be considered as a regular price”. Example: a packet of organic cereals at Carrefour, supposedly discounted before, during, and after the promotion, at the same price: “If that’s right, that’s its real price …”, quipped. 60 million consumers.

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