Checking out new prices at Coles
BUNDABERG shoppers will get more bang for their buck at Coles when the grocery giant adopts a new pricing policy next month.
Under the policy, all Coles shoppers in Queensland will pay the same price for 97 per cent of products, no matter where they live.
Spokesman Jim Cooper said Bundaberg shoppers could save up to $3 or more with each $100 basket of groceries.
“It really will benefit our regional stores like Bundy because they will be paying city prices,” he said.
“Prices can vary between stores, even if it is a few cents.”
Mr Cooper said the move is to promote transparency and provide comfort for shoppers.
The higher grocery prices in regional areas are usually due to transport costs and, to align the shop prices, Coles will now absorb these fees.
“We will be putting our hand in our pocket to do this so we are hoping customers appreciate the change,” Mr Cooper said.
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Graeme Samuel has welcomed the new approach.
“Woolworths and Aldi are already doing this, so it is good to see Coles follow,” he said.
Mr Samuel said postcode pricing is not illegal under the Trade Practices Act but does raise questions among consumers.
“People ask questions,” he said.
“All these different prices, especially when people can’t see a reason, causes irritation and confusion.”
While groceries such as meat, seafood, dairy, deli and bakery products will now be the same price, fresh fruit and vegetables will not.
This will allow stores to continue to purchase fresh produce from local sources and match the best prices in their local market.
Mr Samuel said the new policy would increase competition between supermarket chains.
“The less competitive prices will be brought down because of the competitive prices being offered in the cities.”
“It will give consumers a good way to compare prices,” he said.
The new pricing will be rolled out from February 1 and it will take about a month for the difference to appear in stores.
“On the whole, in terms of being transparent with customers, this really needs to be welcomed,” Mr Samuel said.