Waitrose to limit promotion periods due to new competition rules

Thu 20/07/2023 by Richard Wilkinson

UK retailer Waitrose has announced it is to limit the period for which products can be promoted in-stores and online, as the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) sets out tougher guidelines on price promotions. From 27 September, price promotions will no longer run on product lines that have been discounted “for more than half of a rolling 12-month period”, The Grocer reported. Products placed on a sale promotional price for over 26 weeks between 1 November 2022 and 31 October 2023 will also be affected. 

Waitrose inform suppliers of the change earlier this month, explaining that it wanted to “remain compliant” with the new guidance. “We’ve simply introduced an additional layer of control, to make absolutely sure that our promotions meet legal requirements,” a Waitrose spokeswoman told The Grocer.

In January, the CMA began a review into supermarket unit pricing off the back of a Which? study that revealed retailers are “letting shoppers down” with inconsistent or missing price labels, making cheap deals harder to identify.

The investigation found some irregularity across UK supermarkets on how they rolled out price promotions and as a result, the competition watchdog issued new guidance in March. This featured examples of how customers could be misled by retailer promotions, such as when products were being publicised as having a discounted price, even though it had been applied for several months.


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