Consumer NZ’s latest supermarket survey found products can be on “special” so often shoppers risk being misled about the savings they’re getting.
Consumer NZ chief executive Jon Duffy said price promotions had become so common that shoppers had good grounds to question whether the discounts were real.
In this year’s survey, Consumer NZ tracked online prices for a basket of 22 grocery items for 12 weeks at Countdown, New World and Pak’nSave stores in Auckland and Wellington.
“Many of the items we tracked were routinely discounted. While genuine price promotions are good for consumers, we found specials aren’t always as ‘special’ as supermarkets would like us to believe,” he said.
At Pak’nSave, the majority of the 22 products that Consumer NZ tracked were on special six or more times. At New World, half the items were on special on six or more occasions.
Countdown’s specials varied: anywhere from two to 10 items were on special each week.
Mr Duffy said when the price of a product is regularly reduced, the special price is really its usual selling price.
At New World, Vogel’s, Ploughman’s Bakery and Nature’s Fresh loaves were on special 11 out of 12 weeks. At Pak’nSave Lower Hutt, Nature’s Fresh bread had an “extra-low” price of $2.99 for all 12 weeks.
Stores enticing customers with price promotions must be offering a genuine deal. Otherwise, they’ll mislead consumers and breach the Fair Trading Act.
Mr Duffy said supermarkets use a confusing array of terms in their price promotions, which makes it harder for shoppers to gauge whether they’re getting a genuine discount.
Consumer NZ wants the Commerce Commission to use its market study powers to investigate the supermarket industry.
“New Zealand has one of the most concentrated supermarket industries in the world, with two big players dominating the market. That degree of concentration brings with it the risk consumers will end up paying higher prices,” Mr Duffy said.
Despite the high degree of market concentration, the supermarket sector had failed to attract much scrutiny. Mr Duffy said it’s time for that to change.
According to the July 2020 QV House Price Index (HPI) results out today, property values recorded a marginal increase, up 0.2% over the month. This is somewhat of a turnaround from June, after the national index edged 0.2% lower.
In these variable times, the three month measure of the index is illustrating a more complete picture of value movements across the country, with nationwide values inching up only 0.4% over the slightly longer period, which begins around the time NZ moved out of lockdown level four – when it was very difficult to transact property.
Across the main centres the general pattern of values plateauing since the strict level four lockdown is also evident. Value change since 1 May has ranged from -0.3% in Dunedin to 0.9% in Hamilton, with Tauranga the key outlier at 2.5% growth over that time.
Strong momentum leading into lockdown saw Tauranga’s property values continuing to grow while many others faltered, however the latest couple of months have seen that momentum dissipate too, with values in Tauranga steadying (+0.2%) since 1 June.
As New Zealand emerges from the previous lockdown, a new sense of optimism as emerged, but tempered with a note of caution as to what the near-term future holds. The significant support provided by the Government and retail banks, in the form of wage subsidies and mortgage deferrals, don’t have too much longer to run and while there have been discussions about support being extended, it seems more likely to happen in the event of a local COVID-19 outbreak.
SINGAPORE – 4 August 2020 — Sabre Corporation (NASDAQ: SABR), the leading software and technology provider that powers the global travel industry, has renewed its long-term, worldwide distribution agreement with Air New Zealand.
Under the renewed agreement, Sabre will continue to distribute global Air New Zealand content to hundreds of thousands of travel agents and thousands of corporations globally through its extensive travel marketplace.
“The eyes of the world have watched New Zealand's exemplary handling of the coronavirus pandemic, and we're excited to announce our renewed agreement with Air New Zealand and to continue to support their digital customer and retailing strategy.,” said Rakesh Narayanan, Vice President, Regional General Manager, Asia and Pacific, Travel Solutions, Airline Sales.
“We're delighted to renew our distribution agreement with Sabre” said Andrew Dale, Regional General Manager Sales & Alliances, Air New Zealand. “As we look to further ramp up domestic and eventually international operations, it's vital that customers have choice and flexibility in booking through their preferred channel. The value of our travel agency partners cannot be underestimated in helping travellers to make the best choices and regain trust in travel during this time, and we're thrilled to be able to connect to them through Sabre's Global Distribution System (GDS).”
About Sabre Corporation
Sabre Corporation is a leading software and technology company that powers the global travel industry, serving a wide range of travel companies including airlines, hoteliers, travel agencies and other suppliers. The company provides retailing, distribution and fulfilment solutions that help its customers operate more efficiently, drive revenue and offer personalized traveller experiences. Through its leading travel marketplace, Sabre connects travel suppliers with buyers from around the globe. Sabre's technology platform manages more than $260B worth of global travel spend annually. Headquartered in Southlake, Texas, USA, Sabre serves customers in more than 160 countries around the world. For more information visit www.sabre.com.