No price cuts in Sabah supermarts

Posted on 1 November 2008. Filed under: Finance | Tags: , , , , , , , |

DAILY EXPRESS NEWS


No price cuts in Sabah supermarts

Kota Kinabalu: Prices of consumer items in supermarkets here have not dropped despite the Government’s call on traders to lower prices in line with the decrease in the national and global oil prices.

On Tuesday, the Giant chain of hypermarkets in the peninsula was among the first to heed to the Government’s call when it reduced prices of some 1,200 items, including groceries, fresh food items and essential goods by up to 30 per cent.

However, checks at supermarkets here indicated many had yet to lower prices. When Daily Express visited a supermarket in Kolombong, its Manager refused to be drawn into discussing the matter.

He only mentioned that he was under strict instruction from management in Kuala Lumpur not to speak to reporters or give any information regarding the matter without their prior consent. A check with the other two main hypermarket market chains operating here also showed many items were still sold at the same price range as during the period when their prices were first raised.

Rice sold at these hypermarkets, for example, although being sold below the recommended retail price, was still much higher than it was before the oil price escalation and the subsequent price hike of the item.

The Cap Anggur brand’s recommended retail price listed was RM28 for a 10kg pack, but was sold at RM25.50, which is RM2.50 lower than the recommended retail price.

However, compared with the RM19.50 price tag of the same brand and pack back in June this year, the price remains high.

Another item – instant noodles – which has become a necessity for many in these trying times, are also still sold in the same price range as when its prices were raised.

A popular brand of the item, which cost between RM3 and RM3.50 for a pack of five packets before the price hike, is now sold for between RM3.90 and RM4.80 depending on the “flavour”.

At another local supermarket, the Daily Express was matter-of-factly told that most of the items sold were imported products, hence the reason why their prices have not gone down.

A store manager said: “Our prices carry a certain percentage of mark-up because 70 per cent of our items are imported products from various countries like the UK, Australia and America.”

Meanwhile, several sundry shops operators said that they would consider cutting prices if the manufacturers and the suppliers lowered theirs.

One of them, who operates in Kepayan said unless this happens, they had no choice but to continue selling their goods at the current prices, adding that all quarters must shoulder the responsibility.

The Government had in June increased oil prices by 78 sen for petrol, from RM1.92 to RM2.70 but has since been rolled back by 40 sen – 15 sen in August, 10 sen in September and 15 sen, this month (October).

Prices of goods, however, have not mirrored the decrease in oil prices, prompting the Government to urged not only hypermarkets but also suppliers and merchandisers to lower the prices of their products.

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