At some point last year, I noticed that I was spending rather more at the till at Asda than I had anticipated on each visit. I resolved to check the prices more carefully. Then I discovered that I couldn’t!
I got myself an eye-test, some prescription glasses and bingo! I still could not read the price per unit label on any of Asda’s shelves. It turned out that, even with my eyesight restored to its original sharpness, the price per unit label was written so small that I could only read each one by actually physically leaning into the shelves and getting within a couple of feet of the label. The price per unit is always written in a much smaller font size than anything else. This isn’t a supermarket which is shy about the size of its price labels.
Despite the price per unit being of little use unless the same scale is used throughout the store, Asda divides these comparative prices into per kilo and per item. Presumably this counterproductive strategy is used in every UK supermarket corporation?
Wincing from a bad back today, I got rather annoyed at having to lean towards these tiny labels. I tweeted Asda, requesting the font size of the price per unit on its price labels. Asda ‘replied’ from another twitter account, suggesting I phone an 0800 number to get my answer. I did telephoned that number. Twice. No-one has bothered to return my call yet. Surely this can’t be a very complicated question to answer? How long will it take them to answer? Is it time for another sweepstake?
In the meantime, here’s a little game you can play with your friends and family on your next trip to Asda. Ask any employee which are the cheapest tomatoes. If they look at the price labels for you, score one point. If they admit to having no idea whatsoever, score two points. Do the same with the potatoes. You’ll find no-one with any idea whatsoever which tomatoes or potatoes are actually the cheapest. After asking five members of staff, tot up your points. Low scores win. Obviously, this is a bit of a shit game but it makes a serious point. If the staff of a shop cannot quickly point to their cheapest products, what chance do the customers have?