How savvy are your customers when it comes to price? There are, supposedly, those so-called known-value items (KVIs), but it's obviously true that a lot of people don't know the price of a loaf of bread or a pint of milk. Lucky them. There are others who need to know just how far their fiver is going to go. Many, I suspect, can take a somewhere-in-the-region-of guess, as in sliced bread: a bit under a quid.
Flora would fall into the KVI category. That's certainly true in Mark Bamforth's Premier Store at Lytham St Annes in Lancashire.
He was stocking up on Flora at Booker's Blackpool branch with some 500g promotional packs flashed up at £1 each. But when he began putting them on his shelves he noticed that the packs, which proclaimed 'Great Value', went on to point out that the usual manufacturer's recommended price was £1.18.
"Booker's recommended retail price is usually £1.36, so all my regular customers will think that I regularly rip them off," claims Mark.
One could speculate that the promotion might have been a method of pushing through some 'best before' sensitive stock originally orchestrated to sell through the multiples where the rrp would probably be £1.18 or lower. However, I consulted the two suppliers instead, as this is a fair column.
Booker said it couldn't comment on Unilever's policy, but passed the query on to Unilever, which responded with a statement. It reads: "Recommended retail prices are set in relation to the entire grocery market and do not reflect the differing roles that are applied in different sectors of the trade.
"Unilever recognises that stating the published recommended retail price on the £1 promotional price-marked pack was not necessarily helpful to the convenience retailer. We apologise for the confusion that this has caused and confirm that we have removed the rrp details from our artwork for any subsequent promotions."
See, sometimes do they listen to us.