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Supermarkets adopt new special offer code

Leading UK supermarkets have backed new guidelines designed to make sure consumers are not misled by special offers.

Eight grocers have signed up to a new voluntary code laid out by the Office of Fair Trading, according to The Independent. The OFT launched an inquiry in February to investigate if shoppers were being confused by the way prices are displayed.

The new code states that prices should be presented as discounts for the same or less time as the products was initially sold at a higher price. This applies to offers such as ‘half price’ and ‘was 5, now 4’.

Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer, Co-op, Lidl, Aldi and Waitrose have all announced they will adopt this voluntary code. Asda has refused to sign up.

However, retail analysts are not convinced the guidelines will have a significant impact.

"Even with a new voluntary code and greater regulation, it will still be confusing to ascertain what value for money looks like and what is a bargain and what is not," said Kantar Retail’s Bryan Roberts.

"Most shoppers will still need a calculator to work their way around a store."

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