Discounted products, frozen prices, “buy 1 + get 1 free”, etc. Promotions have been on the rise lately. With rising inflation, the purchasing power of Belgians is being undermined. The large supermarket chains are competing in inventiveness to put themselves forward, with actions that are multiplying.
“Last week, Test Achats calculated an average increase in supermarket prices of 12.33% compared to the previous year”explains the consumer protection organization. “Supermarkets are trying to stand out by offering major actions in favor of household purchasing power. The consumer organization conducted the survey on the promotions offered online by supermarkets, and it is clear that some do not not fulfill all of their promises.
Among the bad students pointed out by Test Achats, we find in particular the Carrefour brand. If the sign advances “up to 1,000 products at less than 1 euro”, Test Achats found only 347 of them on its website, of which 104 are unavailable. “In addition, a price comparison of 36 products shows that they already cost less than one euro before the promotion. Carrefour did not make any of its products cheaper, on the contrary, 11 products even saw their price increase. ” And the misleading advertisements do not stop there, points out Test Achats again, because another action by Carrefour also seems not to keep its promises: that of freezing the prices of 100 products for 100 days. “After a quick glance at the Carrefour site, Test Achats only counted 58. And of these, more than half (28) are already unavailable online.”
The Albert Heijn stores are also singled out. “The brand promises ‘on more than 1,000 products, the 2nd free’. In reality, this only seems to concern 53 products online. And when Test Achats takes a closer look, it appears that only 36 products allow you to receive a second free.”
Caution is therefore more important than ever, and the consumer’s critical spirit must remain alert. “We have questioned Carrefour and Albert Heijn on this subject. We will remain extremely vigilant, and we will not fail to denounce any deception to the Economic Inspectorate”warns the spokesperson for the organization, Julie Frère.
Honesty and transparency
Conversely, some supermarkets have implemented the announcements made in recent weeks. This is notably the case of Delhaize and its Petits Lions. “The selection contains 424 products and the assortment is a good sample of what can be found in supermarkets. For this action, the price of a number of products has been reduced.”
Ditto at Colruyt, where the Festival of Brands allows good savings. “There are 137 cheaper products there, but it is necessary to buy in larger quantities to benefit from the reduction”, specifies however Test Achats.
“It is crucial, in these times of high inflation, to correctly inform consumers about the promotions on offer”recalls Julie Frère, spokesperson for Test Achats. “Consumers are legitimately looking for ways to reduce their spending, but between false promotions and misleading information, this task is made difficult for them. We ask all supermarket chains to be honest and transparent about their promotions, and not to mislead the consumer.