Gains from opening up supermarket pricing information “should not be under estimated” says ODI

A bill to allow shoppers instant, online access to supermarket prices, product by product and store by store will be introduced to Parliament this week. According to the ODI, the supermarkets themselves have a lot to gain from the bill as transparency can also give a competitive advantage.

The Ten Minute Rule Bill is being introduced by Southampton MP, John Denham. It’s aimed at wiping out practices where shoppers are misled by supposed “special offers” that end up costing the same or more as regularly priced items.

The ODI has added that it’s not just consumers who will benefit from greater transparency but the supermarkets themselves. Gavin Starks, the Institute’s CEO called on retailers to take a leadership role in opening up their data:

“We are at a point where retailers are facing a crisis in consumer confidence. Transparency helps engender trust, and while we understand the commercial value of data today, those who take a leadership position on transparency will build trust and gain more customers. The value of such leadership to brands, customers, and shareholders should not be underestimated.“

The Bill, which will be introduced on Tuesday January 15th, has attracted support from across the party political spectrum as well as from organisations including Which?, price comparison website, MySupermarket and the Consumer Action Group.