David McCorquodale, Head of Retail at KPMG, comments on the news today that consumer group, Which?, have launched a super-complaint with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)
Commenting on the news today that consumer group, Which?, have launched a super-complaint with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) alleging that supermarkets are fooling shoppers with “dodgy multi-buys, shrinking products and baffling sales offers,” David McCorquodale, Head of Retail at KPMG, said:
“In times of price deflation and decreasing customer loyalty, there is no doubt that pricing will come under increasing scrutiny from government, regulators and consumer protection agencies.
“Differential pricing and targeted promotions have been around for years and are becoming more and more pervasive. However, the key to ensuring these strategies are implemented fairly and appropriately is transparency. As retailers deploy ever more sophisticated algorithms to dynamically set prices and promotions the key principle remains that customers need to feel they are being fairly treated.
“Few of us truly realise the information companies have about us through loyalty cards, past purchases, online profile, and search history. There isn’t a problem with companies having this information or using it to drive sales – indeed in today’s world, customers also have price comparison at their fingertips. The real issue is whether predictive analytics are being used to set targeted promotions in a way customers are not aware of and do not understand.
“Retailers need to remember that brands can easily be harmed if customers feel they have been treated unfairly. In essence, retailers both on and offline need to take the initiative to be more transparent about their pricing so that consumer trust is not eroded and to avoid these types of allegations in the future.”
Jess Liebmann, KPMG Corporate Communications
T: 0207 311 3245
Follow us on twitter: @kpmguk
KPMG Press Office: +44 (0) 207 694 8773
KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, operates from 22 offices across the UK with approximately 12,000 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a turnover of £1.9 billion in the year ended September 2014. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. It operates in 155 countries and has 162,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.
This article represents the views of the author only, and does not necessarily represent the views or professional advice of KPMG in the UK.