Seven out of 10 Kiwis are questioning if they're "getting a real deal" out of supermarket "specials", according to a new survey by Consumer NZ.
“Retailers know shoppers are more likely to buy a product that’s marked at a ‘special’ price. But with discounts so pervasive in supermarkets, many consumers are asking whether they’re getting a real deal,” Consumer NZ chief executive Jon Duffy said.
The results of the online survey, which looked into the shopping habits of 1030 New Zealanders, found that 81 per cent of Kiwis agreed supermarket prices in New Zealand were too high, while 74 per cent agreed specials had become so common they were unsure the savings were genuine.
Sixty-three per cent of the respondents also agreed “special” price labels could be confusing, making it difficult to work out the actual savings.
Duffy said the survey also found consumers were experiencing other problems with price promotions.
In the past two years, 66 per cent of consumers said they had found an advertised special was out of stock, 46 per cent had been charged more at the checkout than the price shown on the shelf label and 45 per cent said they had been overcharged after checking their receipt.
A significant proportion of shoppers were also charged higher prices because they did not belong to the stores’ loyalty programmes, while 31 per cent said they had missed out on getting an advertised special price because they did not have the supermarket’s loyalty card.
Duffy said while loyalty programmes were heavily promoted, there were good reasons why consumers chose not to sign up, such as the collection of personal details, and the terms and conditions of loyalty programmes allowing supermarkets to collect a range of information about them and their purchasing preferences.
The results of the survey will be provided to the Commerce Commission, which began an investigation into the grocery sector in November.