“Retailers must get their house in order” – Which? response to the CMA investigation into Asda.

Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said:

​”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 ​clea​n ​up ​their ac​t​.

​”Our super-complaint and actions taken by the authorities should serve as a clear warning to all retailers. If they try to pull the wool over consumers’ eyes they will not get away with it. Retailers must​​ get their house in order.”

Background
  1. In June 2015, Which? found a number of examples of misleading special offers:

    Products on offer for longer than they were sold at the higher price:

    Gillette Venus 2 Disposable Razors (4): Sold at £2 in Asda for 37 days, then 97p (‘was £2’) for 86 days.

    McVitie’s Digestive Biscuits (500g) and McVitie’s Ginger Nuts (250g)Both sold at £1.09 in Asda for 29 days, then 98p (‘was £1.09’) for 81 days.

    Hovis Medium Sliced Soft White Bread (800g)Sold at £1 (‘was £1.20’) in Asda, even though the price before the offer started was £1, and the product hadn’t been sold at £1.20 for 116 days

    Misleading multi-buys:

    McVitie’s Classic Rich Tea Biscuits (300g), McVitie’s Digestive Biscuits (500g),McVitie’s Hobnobs (300g)andMcVitie’s Ginger Nuts (250g)“The price on these biscuits at Asda increased to £1.09 while on ‘2 for £2’ several times during 2014, even though they cost £1 or less for the majority of the year.” Looks like it saves you: 18p. Actual saving: Nothing.

    Pepsi (2 litres)“The price at Asda increased to £1.98 while on ‘2 for £3’ several times during 2014 and early 2015, even though it cost 98p or £1 for the majority of the year.” Looks like it saves you: 96p. Actual saving: Nothing. In fact you’ll be £1 worse off.

    L’Oréal Paris Elvive Nutri Gloss Shine Shampoo(250ml): “Asda’s price increased to £2.80 or £2.89 while on ‘2 for £4’ several times during 2014, but it cost £2 or less almost every day when it wasn’t on offer as a multibuy.” Looks like it saves you: £1.78. Actual saving: Nothing.

    Robinsons Orange Fruit Squash (1 litre): “The price at Asda increased to £1.49 or £1.59 while on ‘2 for £2.50’ several times during 2014, but it cost £1 for most of the year.” Looks like it saves you: 68p. Actual saving: Nothing. You’ll actually be 50p worse off.

  2. Which? submitted a super-complaint to the Competition and Markets Authority about misleading supermarket pricing practices on 21 April 2015. More details on the super-complaint can be found here - http://press.which.co.uk/whichpressreleases/which-super-complains-about-misleading-supermarket-pricing-practices/.
  3. More than 246,000 people have supported our super-complaint to the regulator - which.co.uk/misleadingpricing

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