With wholesale grocery prices seemingly spiralling out of control, I spend more time checking invoices, adjusting prices and printing new shelf edges. As we all know, we have to keep on top of our gross margins to keep our business viable. I also understand that we all operate within a free market and are at liberty to charge what we like, but I am alarmed at some of the disparity between prices, particularly at the multiples.

At the time of writing, Princes Wild Red Salmon 213g was on sale at Booker for £24.45 for 12, with an rrp of £2.60 and a POR of 21.6%, but in Sainsbury’s the same product was being promoted as ‘was £3.98 now £1.99’.

Similarly, John West Red Salmon 213g was £11.49 for six at Booker, rrp £2.65, and a POR of 27.7%, yet Tesco had it on BOGOF at £3.79! Even more annoying is that the Tesco can is only 180g. I know, because I stupidly bought some…

These are not just isolated examples. Sainsbury’s recently had a ‘buy 2 get 1 free’ promotion on its biscuit range, yet the single pack price on all the lines was significantly higher than my shelf prices. So I ask, are the great British public being taken for a ride?

Until recently I had been buying 500ml Flash with Bleach and Eucalyptus Scent from Booker, pricemarked £1. However, the new stock is now pricemarked £2. I’d be interested to hear why.

So exactly what is an rrp or even an mrp, or should they all just be CRP? Who actually recommends these prices? I assume it’s the manufacturers, or are the rrps manipulated to suit promotions or create healthy margins?

Possibly I don’t give enough respect to the multiples. Maybe I should try and run a Mugs for Mugs promotion. I’ll get some mrp 99p mugs and sell them at a DRP (Dave’s recommended price) of £9.99, but on a buy 1 get another 9 free promotion! It’s easy!