Tesco could be breaking law on Clubcard pricing, says Which?
According to consumer group Which?, supermarket giant Tesco could be breaking the law over how it displays Clubcard prices.
The group says Tesco does not explain the unit price of deals clearly enough to shoppers, making it hard for them to determine the cheapest product.
The Tesco Clubcard is a loyalty scheme that offers members discounted prices on products.
Which? has reported the supermarket to the regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).
In response, Tesco said it complied with all current rules and called Which?’s claims “ill-founded”.
Heinz tomato ketchup was one of the items that Which? highlighted in its report into pricing at Tesco.
It found a 700g bottle in Tesco for which the label showed the standard price to be £3.90, or 55.7p per 100g. A prominent Clubcard label showed the same size bottle on offer at £3.50, but the unit price, which would be 50p per 100g, was not given.
A 910g bottle of the same ketchup on the shelf below was priced at £3.99, or 43.8p per 100g, for all shoppers, making it the cheapest option per 100g. Which? argued many shoppers would wrongly assume the Clubcard option was the best deal available.
Which? said Tesco’s decision not to display unit pricing on its Clubcard offers could be breaking the law.
According to competition rules, unit prices could be seen as “material information” which most people would need in order to make an informed decision about how to get the best value from what they are buying.
Which? head of food policy Sue Davies said given the backdrop of a cost of living crisis, supermarkets should not be cutting corners.
“They have a duty to ensure pricing is clear so that customers can get the best value. Tesco’s unclear Clubcard pricing is at best confusing for shoppers struggling with soaring food inflation and at worst, could be breaking the law,” she said.
“This is simply not good enough from the UK’s biggest supermarket. Tesco should think of its customers and act now to introduce clear unit pricing on all offers, including Clubcard promotions, so shoppers can easily find the best value items.”
A spokesperson for Tesco said the company had sought advice and approval from its local trading standards office in Hertfordshire.
“Providing great value and clear pricing is really important to us, we are supportive of calls for greater clarity on the regulations in this area,” it said.
“However, given that we are complying with all the current rules, we are disappointed that Which? has chosen to make these ill-founded claims against our Clubcard Prices scheme, which helps millions of households get great value week in, week out.”
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