Pricemarked products are helping independent retailers to win the trust of younger and more price-conscious shoppers who have lost faith in supermarket pricing.

More than half the retailers consulted in C-Store's annual product performance survey cited pricemarking as the key way wholesalers and manufacturers could help them through 2010 more important than decent margins and better promotions.

Bolton retailer David Bridge of Here to Please You Stores said that pricemarking was helping to overturn the perception that c-stores were more expensive than the supermarkets.

"Pricemarked products prove to shoppers that you aren't ripping them off," he said. "Convenience stores still have the unfortunate reputation of being more expensive than the supermarkets, when quite often the opposite is actually true.

"Young people and students are particularly price aware," he added. "They know that they can get their soft drinks and pizzas cheaper here than they can at the Tesco Express across the road.

"The margins might be smaller on pricemarked products, but if I get more people through the door I'm happy," David said.

The supermarkets' pricing structures are under increased scrutiny following press reports accusing them of using "cynical" pricing tactics to deceive shoppers over the Christmas period.

Research commissioned by C-Store's sister magazine The Grocer found that two-thirds of pre-Christmas price-cuts at Tesco and Asda were only 1p, while more than half of price rises were more than 10p.