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Over the objections of consumer organizations, the Governor signed a bill (H.4089) into law that will allow supermarkets to stop putting prices on items, and instead install self-service price check scanners around the store.
The new law will let supermarkets and any other store that sells groceries to buy a “waiver” from the state for as little as $250 to get out of item pricing. In return, the store would have to install aisle price scanners -- one every 5000 square feet -- that would disclose prices momentarily on a display. Unlike current regulations of the Attorney General that require other retailers to utilize scanners that print price stickers for customers’ use, only one scanner in each supermarket is required to do so under this bill.
“Shoppers need more and clearer price information, not less,” said Deirdre Cummings, legislative director at MASSPIRG. “Accurate, comparable, and easy-to-use price disclosure is as important today than it has ever been. Retailers and manufacturers are continually inventing new strategies and gimmicks to get us to shop their store or buy their products – all in the name of a ‘bargain’”.
“The simple, unadulterated price sticker, while old fashioned, works. It makes it easier for consumers to compare prices, wade through a barrage of marketing gimmicks, and check for errors at the register.”
“We shouldn’t dump the sticker until we can replace it with equal or better price disclosure.”
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