Following Redmond Hanlon’s swipe at manufacturers persisting in too many unit sizes (featured in the past two issues), Andrew Whyte got in touch from Prees Post Office and Village Stores in Shropshire to say that he completely agrees. He goes so far as to charge them with being arrogant and trying to crowd out competitors.
“In a supermarket they would have to pay for the privilege; we are just expected to suck it up. The Cadbury thing is all to do with maintaining price points while driving down weights, rather than putting up prices. But at least Cadbury pays for the shelf space they occupy through their loyalty scheme.”
He adds: “To me, it’s dishonest, bordering on corrupt, to have a £1 bar of chocolate or bag of sweets that, in some cases, has shrunk from 150g to 90g over a few months. I’m not sure whether this proves people are stupid to keep buying these blatant rip-offs, or whether habits are just so ingrained.
“It’s made worse by manufacturers conspiring with symbol groups to offer a never-ending array of sizes on individual promo months - in the past few months we have had Cathedral City on offer in 150g, 350g, 550g and 700g packs. All good offers, but cheese is not something people buy by the lorry load, so it’s counter-productive.
“And I can’t remember the last time I sold Andrex at full PMP price. Don’t they understand it racks customers off as well to never find the same product two months running?”
He has a burning question, too: “Is anyone else annoyed by symbol group ‘fantasy products’ - items that get publicised on the 100s of leaflets I send out, but which aren’t actually available to order. The usual excuse is that one of the big four have snaffled all the stock, but my attitude to that is, if a manufacturer can’t honour a promotion, why take their word a second time? Usually seems to be mega boxes of soap powder or tea bags that are the main culprits.”