Weekly shop’s become more expensive

Research undertaken by data company Daltix and commissioned by the daily Het Laatste Nieuws shows that around 1,500 products became over 10% more expensive since the government banned supermarket discounts on 18 March to stop panic-buying.  3,300 products have become more expensive, while supermarket prices have risen 2.6% on average.

Restrictions on promotions were relaxed at the end of March, but prices haven’t immediately fallen.

Retail expert Gino Van Ossel: “Some supermarkets aren’t doing any special offers, while others are limiting their promotions.  The government was able to ban discounts, but can’t oblige supermarkets to reintroduce them!”

Supermarkets are only able to announce offers agreed before the crisis.  New discounts are not yet possible.  Several supermarkets including Colruyt are pressing for a further relaxation.  Economy minister Muylle will put this to the security council on Friday.

“Still it could take some time for these discounts to appear” says Gino Van Ossel. “As soon as some players provide discounts and allow competition to play, others will follow”.

The supermarkets point to the need to restart the production and dispatch of promotional materials like leaflets. Organisations focused on poverty have noticed the price rises too and are concerned about shortages of unbranded products.