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Products and Pricing

Assured Advice: Product Ranges in Store

We've had a small number of reports of environmental health officers attempting to stop retailers from selling seasonal items like easter eggs. The following is Assured Advice from Surrey/Bucks Trading Standards and states clearly that retailers can continue selling a full range of products: 

All ACS members are able to continue trading throughout the lockdown and play a vital role in keeping our communities looked after in these very difficult times.  

There are no restrictions on the types of goods or services that ACS members can continue to sell - in effect you should continue with the stock ranges that you would normally have for this time of year (this includes seasonal goods or services like automated car washes).

Pricing Advice

Retailers are experiencing some increased cost prices due to scarcity of some products in the supply chain. As a retailer you are then faced with a choice of passing this cost on, but possibly being perceived as profiteering from the current situation. Clear communication is your best approach in tackling this, for example:

  • Putting up a poster explaining that some supply prices have gone up and that these may be reflected in your prices to customers.
  • Adding the supply price of certain affected products next to the retail price.
  • Responding to customer complaints in person or on social media by explaining the relevant facts.

CMA Taskforce

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched a taskforce to tackle profiteering during the COVID-19 pandemic. Retailers can report suspected instances of price profiteering through a dedicated business complaints service hosted by the Government here. More information about the CMA’s activity around Covid-19 is available here.

Plastic Bag Charge

As of Saturday 21st March, large retailers (those with more than 250 employees) in England no longer have to charge 5p for plastic bags supplied with online deliveries - effective for the next six months. The charge continues to apply for bags used in-store.