Huge price disparity in supermarkets discriminates against rural population
Living in a rural location is costing locals dear, a new report has found.
A study by Dumfries and Galloway Citizens Advice Service found that some shops in the region are charging three times as much as others for the same basket of items.
And as locals don’t have as many options as more people in central areas, they are being left out of pocket.
The service found the cost of a basket of essential everyday items ranged from £8.79 to a staggering £24.70 across the region.
It was also discovered that shoppers in the poorest and more rural areas are on average paying the highest prices.
All of the big supermarket chains are charging very different prices for the same items in different stores just a few miles apart.
And essentials such as nappies and tampons have some of the largest price differentials and in fact are often unavailable in local shops.
Sue Irving, D&G CAS chief executive, said things haven’t move on since they first highlighted the issue ion a report in 2014.
“Our report today shows that local shops are still charging hugely different prices in different areas, and those shoppers paying the most are often those who can least afford it.
“It also uncovers a significant issue with the big supermarket chains. We found that all of these are charging significantly different prices for the same items in their individual stories across the region.
"We can see no obvious justification for this and so we intend to write to all of the supermarket chains to ask for an explanation of their pricing policies."
Irving added: “Overall the research finds that the price variations we first uncovered three years ago still exist, and indeed in many ways have got worse.
"Clearly our evidence suggests that people could make savings by shopping around, but the size and geography of our region makes that difficult, particularly for those on low incomes and those reliant on public transport.
“We ask that the supermarket chains will reflect on the data we have published today and ensure that they are treating customers fairly.”