Unit pricing: a guide for grocery retailers · PDF file Unit pricing: a guide for grocery...

Click here to load reader

  • date post

    16-Apr-2020
  • Category

    Documents

  • view

    1
  • download

    0

Embed Size (px)

Transcript of Unit pricing: a guide for grocery retailers · PDF file Unit pricing: a guide for grocery...

  • Unit pricing: a guide for grocery retailers

  • Australian Competition and Consumer Commission 23 Marcus Clarke Street, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, 2601

    First published by the ACCC 2010

    10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

    © Commonwealth of Australia 2010

    This work is copyright. Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part may be reproduced without prior written permission from the Commonwealth available through the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. Requests and inquiries concerning reproduction and rights should be addressed to the Director Publishing, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, GPO Box 3131, Canberra ACT 2601 or by email to [email protected]

    Important Notice

    This publication has been updated to refer to the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 which replaces the Trade Practices Act 1974 on 1 January 2011. For more information on the Australian Consumer Law changes see www.consumerlaw.gov.au

    This publication gives you basic information. It does not cover the whole of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) and is not a substitute for professional advice.

    Because it avoids legal language where possible, there may be some generalisations about the application of the ACL. Some of the provisions referred to have exceptions or important qualifications. In most cases the particular circumstances of the conduct need to be taken into account when determining the application of the ACL.

    ISBN 978 1 921887 02 4

    ACCC 12/16_182

    www.accc.gov.au

    www.consumerlaw.gov.au

  • Unit pricing: a guide for grocery retailers

  • Unit pricing: a guide for grocery retailers 1

    Contents

    Unit pricing—what you need to know at a glance 3

    Introduction—what is unit pricing? 5

    Do the unit pricing rules affect me? 7

    What unit pricing information must I display? 9

    What things do not have to be unit priced? 13

    How should unit pricing information be displayed? 16

    Do I need to display unit pricing in my advertising? 18

    What if I don’t display unit pricing information? 19

    Appendix 20

    Contacting the ACCC 22

  • 2 Unit pricing: a guide for grocery retailers

    Unit pricing—what you need to know at a glance WHAT is unit pricing? Unit pricing means displaying the price of a grocery item as a standard unit of measurement alongside its selling price. Different types of grocery items use different measurements. For example, the label for a 500 millilitre bottle of milk would show the unit price per litre, in addition to the selling price.

    Unit pricing allows consumers to quickly compare the value of products of varying size and brands.

    The unit pricing requirements are set out in the Trade Practices (Industry Codes—Unit Pricing) Regulations 2009 (the code), which came into effect in July 2009. The Trade Practices Act 1974 under which the code was introduced via regulation has been renamed the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (the Act).

    The code affects businesses (‘retailers’) that sell food-based groceries to consumers. Any business that displays unit pricing must do so in accordance with the code.

    WHO has to display unit pricing? Unit pricing is mandatory for:

    1. Retailers:

    o whose retail premises are used primarily for the sale of food-based grocery items, and

    o have floor space greater than 1000 square metres dedicated to the display of grocery items, and

    o sell the minimum range of food-based grocery items.

    2. Online retailers that sell the minimum range of food-based grocery items.

    Under the code these retailers are called prescribed grocery retailers.

    WHO can display unit pricing if they want to? Retailers that sell the minimum range of food-based groceries, but have a floor space of 1000 square metres or less can opt in to unit pricing in accordance with the code.

    Retailers opt in to the code if they introduce in-store unit pricing for one or more types of non-exempt grocery items.

    Under the code, retailers that opt in are participating grocery retailers and must comply with all the code’s requirements.

    IIIIIIII II IIIIII

    MILK 500 mL

    $2.00 per L $1.00 ea

  • Unit pricing: a guide for grocery retailers 3

    Unit pricing—what you need to know at a glance WHAT grocery items do I have to show unit pricing for? All grocery items, including some non-food items, must be unit priced except for those that are:

    o on the list of exempt items

    o sold at a reduced price due to damage or their perishable nature

    o offered for sale as a bundle of different types of items for a single price; the items don’t have to be packaged together

    o discontinued items.

    WHERE do I have to display unit pricing? Unit pricing must be displayed:

    o where a selling price is displayed for a grocery item—this includes labels and promotional signs

    o in print advertisements where a selling price is listed

    o in online store price lists.

    Unit pricing doesn’t apply to non-print advertising, such as television, radio or online audio or video advertising.

    HOW must unit pricing information look? Unit pricing information must be:

    o prominent—it must stand out so that it is easily seen

    o proximate—it must be positioned close to the selling price for the grocery item

    o legible—it must not be difficult to read

    o unambiguous—the information must be accurate and its meaning clear.

  • Unit pricing: a guide for grocery retailers 5

    Introduction— what is unit pricing? Unit pricing means displaying the price of grocery items for a certain unit of measurement in addition to the item’s selling price.

    These regulations are contained in the Trade Practices (Industry Codes—Unit Pricing) Regulations 2009.

    The code sets out how items must be unit priced.

    Displaying information in this way (for instance, displaying an item’s price per 100 grams of weight) makes it easy for consumers to compare the price and value of similar types of products.

    For example, with unit pricing a consumer does not have to make complicated calculations to work out which is better value: a 2.5 litre container of laundry detergent costing $7.62 or a 1.5 litre container costing $5.74.

    LAUNDRY DETERGENT

    $3.83 per 1 L

    $5.74 1.5 L

    Unit price

    LAUNDRY DETERGENT

    $3.05 per 1 L

    $7.62 2.5 L

    Unit price

    This is because they can easily see that the unit price of the first container is $3.05 per litre and $3.83 per litre for the second. The information will be displayed with the item’s selling price on the shop label.

    Not all businesses are required to display unit pricing. Whether your business must display unit pricing depends on the size and type of your shop and the types of grocery items that you sell.

    If you do not sell the minimum range of groceries or don’t primarily sell food-based groceries, you do not have to display unit pricing for grocery items.

  • 6 Unit pricing: a guide for grocery retailers

    Some categories of grocery retailers can opt in to the scheme. If they do, they must comply with all of the code’s requirements—that is, they must display unit pricing strictly in accordance with the code.

    Also, some kinds of grocery items are exempt from unit pricing.

    This guide aims to help your business understand unit pricing and what you will need to do to comply with the code. It offers detailed guidance on:

    o whether your business will need to display unit pricing

    o how you should display unit pricing, including in advertising and product labelling

    o items that are exempt from unit pricing

    o unit measurements used for different types of goods.

  • Unit pricing: a guide for grocery retailers 7

    Do the unit pricing rules affect me? The code covers certain businesses (retailers) that sell food-based grocery items to consumers.

    Who must display unit pricing? Unit pricing is mandatory for:

    1. Retailers:

    o whose retail premises are used primarily for the sale of food-based grocery items, and

    o have floor space greater than 1000 square metres dedicated to the display of grocery items, and

    o sell the minimum range of food-based grocery items.

    2. Online retailers that sell a minimum range of food-based groceries.

    These retailers are called prescribed grocery retailers under the code. It is mandatory for businesses in either of these groups to display unit prices for items wherever they display a selling price.

    If you belong to one of these groups, you must display unit prices.

    Other retailers that can choose to display unit pricing Grocery retailers that sell the minimum range of food-based grocery items but have a floor space of 1000 square metres or less can choose to either opt in to the code, or not participate at all.

    If you opt in, you become a participating grocery retailer under the code and you must comply with all of the requirements in the code.

    How do I opt in to the code?

    You opt in to the code if you introduce unit pricing in store for more than one type of non-exempt grocery items.

  • 8 Unit pricing: a guide for grocery retailers

    You have not opted in if:

    o you display unit prices to comply with oth