Supermarkets Rounding Up Prices

A new study has revealed that Britain’s largest supermarkets are increasingly rounding up prices on many everyday goods to the nearest pound or 50p.
According to price comparison website, which carried out the research, shoppers at Tesco, Asda and Sainsburys are paying an extra penny for thousands of items.
Examples of “round-pound” prices include a box of six free range extra large eggs at Asda, which have increased in price from £1.99 to £2 between 2008 and 2009, a 115g packet of tuna pate from Sainsbury’s (from 99p to £1) and the price of a 390g Tesco deep pan pizza, which has been rounded up from £1.49 to £1.50.
The study also discovered signs of prices being rounded up at online grocer Ocado, with the price of a 250g packet of McVitie’s shortcake increasing by a penny to £1.
Jonny Steel, a spokesman for mySupermarket, said: “While shoppers are drawn in by eye-catching ‘only £1’ signs, they should be aware that only 12 per cent of £1 items are cheaper than previously.”
The findings come as a further blow to thousands of hard-pressed families in the UK who are struggling to cope financially during the recession.
In response to the research both Sainsbury’s and Ocado said they did not use rounding up tactics and that any price increases to even numbers were simply a coincidence.
Tesco said it had started selling some products for £1 but only in a bid to make pricing more transparent for customers.
Asda refused to comment on whether it rounded up the price of goods, but stressed that its “only policy” is to offer shoppers “more lower prices than any other supermarket “.