Coop decided Thursday not to increase prices for 200 of its most popular groceries between now and the end of the year.
They do this to help customers who are struggling to keep up with high inflation, high interest rates and record high electricity prices.
– Now we take the top 200 best selling and popular items. We will not increase prices and maintain the current price level or lower for the rest of the year. We’re doing this to help maintain Norwegians’ purchasing power, Bjørn Takle Friis, Coop’s CIO, tells VG.
The price is adjusted instantly and applied in Coop Prix, Coop Mega, Obs, Extra, Coop Marked and Matkroken.
– Friis says they are preventing prices from increasing at the moment.
– People struggle
He says they use customer analytics to select the 200 most important items seen through the eyes of consumers. Among these are Norvegia 1 kilo, Tine Melk, Fjordland meat buns, Gilde meat sausage, Coop mince, breakfast eggs, Coop toilet paper and toothpaste.
– Why are you doing this?
We do this because we see the evolution. We understand that people struggle and have a hard time with it and that customers are owned by us, so it’s only natural that we have to take action ourselves. We discussed it for a while, but it helped call VG. Then we gained momentum in it, says Fries.
VG called last night to ask the Norwegian grocery industry if they were considering a price freeze like French etc Carrefour As a measure to reduce inflation.
– Have you been inspired by Carrefour and other foreign chains?
– Yes, we have followed the discussion regarding the cap on electricity prices and everything that is going on. We’ve been discussing this for a while, but we weren’t sure how large the increases from suppliers would be. They were great, but we didn’t get rid of all the price increases in there either. It costs money. But we feel we have to do it, says Fries.
– tough competition
– Do you lose in this?
– Yes, as I said, we did not take all the price increases from the suppliers, says Fries and points out that the largest increases in grocery prices in Norway usually occur on February 1 and July 1.
– Then you can choose if you want to pass these prices directly to customers, but we don’t. Then customers will get a price shock. Thus, the prices are raised little by little, and then there are campaigns along the way, the usual price war that makes them go down. But we are now stopping all price increases on these goods, says the communications director.
– How do we make sure that Coop does not compensate for the price cap by increasing the prices of other products?
– We guarantee we won’t, Fries tells VG.
– Do you think other Norwegian chains will follow suit?
– It’s hard to say, but it’s a really tough competition.
When VG contacted Kiwi on Wednesday evening, Kristine Arvin, Kiwi’s Director of Communications said:
– Due to competition reasons, we cannot say anything about future prices, but we will make sure that we are the cheapest.
And this is the answer we got from Rema 1000:
“We can’t comment on future prices, but the Rema 1000 will always be the cheapest for groceries in Norway,” Rating and Purchasing Manager Line Aarnes wrote in a text message via the info section.
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