Shoppers feel ‘swindled’ by supermarket giants charging higher prices at their small convenience stores as confidence plummets to a nine-year low
- Rishi Sunak has asked the CMA to investigate whether extortionate profits are involved
- Prices tend to be higher in smaller convenience stores such as Tesco Express
Two out of three shoppers feel ripped off because supermarket giants charge much higher prices in their small convenience stores.
The numbers come from Which? amid new research showing confidence in supermarkets has fallen to a nine-year low.
The supermarkets generally charge more for the same products sold through their smaller convenience stores, such as Tesco Express and Sainsbury’s Local, than in larger stores.
At the same time, their small shops have fewer of the cheapest budget lines, making life difficult for those who do not have a car or cannot travel to large shops.
Rishi Sunak has asked the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) to investigate whether there is any evidence of profit – or greed – on groceries.
The supermarkets generally charge more for the same products sold through their smaller convenience stores, such as Tesco Express
Separately, the CMA has already raised concerns that major supermarkets have increased profit margins on diesel fuel, which has driven up prices across the economy.
Which one? Research found that 67 percent of people believe supermarkets are imposing rip-off prices in their convenience stores.
Three-quarters (75 percent) also said they find the price of convenience store foods too expensive compared to larger supermarkets and nearly half (45 percent) struggle to find affordable food in convenience stores.
Which? said: ‘It is concerning that half (51 per cent) of those who depend on convenience stores at least once a week are struggling financially with the cost of living crisis – compared to a third (35 per cent) of consumers overall .’ The survey found that 57 percent said having more budget ranges in the convenience stores would help.
The Consumer Champion is calling on supermarkets to improve the availability of essential budget options in their convenience stores.
Separate research in the Which? Confidence in the food industry fell to its lowest level since November 2014 in May, according to the monthly Consumer Insight Tracker.
The confidence score measures just +36 – on a scale of -100 to +100 – representing a drop of 32 points since peaking at +68 in May 2020.
The which one? Director of policy and advocacy, Rocio Concha, said: ‘Confidence in the food industry has fallen to a nine-year low – many consumers tell us they feel ripped off by the high convenience store prices.
Rishi Sunak (pictured today) has asked the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) to investigate whether there is any evidence of profit – or greed – on groceries
“People shouldn’t have to pay too much for daily necessities just because they have a hard time getting to a big supermarket.”
She added: ‘While the entire food supply chain affects prices, supermarkets have the power to do more to support those in need, including ensuring that everyone has easy access to simple, affordable budget ranges in a store near them, including smaller consumer stores. who rely on it.
‘Supermarkets must also offer transparent prices, so that people can easily determine which products are the cheapest.’
The British Retail Consortium insisted that despite rising costs, shops sold some of the cheapest food in Europe.