A bill is advancing through the Massachusetts legislature that will allow supermarkets to leave off item price tags and instead force customers to rely on electronic scanners spaced throughout the store. Although prices will still need to be displayed on store shelves for most items, you’ll have to rely on your memory and your faith in the store’s scanner system at checkout. John Hurst, the president of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts, “said consumers will benefit in the form of lower prices and shortened lines once stores no longer need to devote resources to item-by-item pricing.” But kjd aa- [thump]
–sorry, we just fell out of our chairs laughing at the idea of a supermarket out there that will heroically pass the savings downstream to consumers instead of profiting directly from it.
The bill’s critics, which include the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group and the ConsumerWorld.org Web site, say consumers will suffer because they may be forced to wander as far away as 5,000 feet in a particular store to scan an item and check its price. If a retailer opts for the scanning system alternative, prices would still need to be displayed on store shelves for most items.
The critics say it will be harder to catch overcharges at the cash register, and the scanning machines may not pick up on sale prices or special prices for customers with loyalty cards.
“Consumer groups worry that item pricing could go away at supermarkets” *warning! obnoxious ads* [Enterprisenews.com] (Thanks to Linus!)