Pot. Kettle. Black

I had to laugh when last month Tesco of all people asked for help to increase prices on cheap booze.
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Pot, kettle, black springs to mind.

Asking for Government intervention on “cheap booze” was just unbelievable. If Tesco has such a moral issue with this, then they can put their prices up and let the consumer decide if they want to pay more for the morally correct pricing of Tesco.

The funniest thing about the whole thing was the adverts for, you’ve guessed it, cheap booze and 3 for 2 on wine that very evening. Classic.

I love the story of the potato farmer who was screwed so far by supermarkets that he started making his own crisps, in unusual flavours. Good quality, premium crisps. Now he is very successful and wants to support the independents and a quality brand supermarket who helped establish his crisp business. He didn’t want to sell to a big supermarket and politely refused to supply them. That supermarket has now withdrawn the crisps after buying through the back door and he is threatening legal action.

Prices WILL rise, the Chinese problems with lack of manual labour, further safety measures and raw costs not just for production but transportation will put real pressure on prices. Some suppliers are hedging bets and still didn’t have order forms and price lists in early March, bit stupid when you are currently running a TV campaign.

Having no order forms makes it difficult to order. But, what’s more, at the last sales meeting the agents were lambasted because of lack of orders!!!

But what if the aggressive supermarkets really did act on those moral obligations? What if they stopped screwing suppliers to the bare bones, what if they stopped demanding funding for half price promotions that don’t need to be done? What if a retailer didn’t ask for a retro because of another crap year?

Would prices have to rise, or could prices remain the same but without the give away funding?

This year will possibly see even less consumer “free money”. I’m writing this just before the Budget, but I’m not expecting too much hope from that. The Government has a big black hole to fill and doesn’t seem to care how much they squeeze businesses and the man on the street. They are even going after the lucky sods living abroad now.

Buckle the seatbelts folks. It’s gonna be a bumpy ride.


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