Coop regularly announces offers. But now the grocery giant has been caught with his pants down.
In many Coop Prix campaigns, incorrect initial prices were announced. He made the shows look so much better than they actually are.
Coop tells Nettavisen that it is not unlikely that similar errors will occur in many of Coop's chains.
Journalist Nettavisen's advice is here!
Coop has these strings:
- Collaboration Award
- Cooperation market
- Mega cup
- Food corner
– I was stunned
The Coop's revelation comes after Nettavisen recently wrote about bugs in the Rema 1000. They first doubled the price of clementines, then announced a thirty percent discount on the new high price.
Then, one of Coop's alerted agents called Nettavisen.
Rima 1000 caught red-handed: – They are violating the law
Ron Hansen thought there was something wrong with the performances at the Coop Prix.
Before Christmas, find that many Fjordland products are on sale for 30 percent off at Coop Prix.
– I was stunned. Because I didn't think it had been that long since we had an offer,” Ron Hansen tells Nettavisen.
Rune Hansen closely monitors the offers and prices in the store. He also pays close attention to the rules that apply to offers and sales.
– I understand that the store must calculate the discount based on the lowest price in the last 30 days, says Ron Hansen.
He was skeptical that it had been 30 days since the last sale. So Hansen chose to take photos of the price tags in the store to document the price. The bidding campaign continued at that time until December 9th.
This is a cooperative
Coop is the second largest grocery operator in Norway. Bigger than Rema 1000, smaller than Norgesgruppen (Kiwi, Meny, Spar Joker and more)
Coop had sales of approximately NOK 67 billion in 2022 and has approximately 30,000 employees. There are more than two million cooperative members in Norway.
Coop has 1,100 (per 2,023) stores in Norway divided into the chains Extra (555), Coop Prix (256), Coop Marked (106), Matkroken (83), Coop Mega (69) and Obs (31).
Coop is a consumer cooperative founded in 1906 as the Norwegian National Cooperative Society.
I raised the price
In the first week of the new year, Hansen was once again at the local Coop Prix store. Then he saw that the same Fiordland products were on sale again at 30 percent off.
But the previous price mentioned was not the offer price as of December. Instead, it was the same high starting price that Coop had offered at the December auction. In one case, they also increased the additional initial price:
Offer on Meatballs at Fiordland from November 27th to December 9th:
- Offer price: 46.13
- Starting price: 65.90
Offer on Meatballs in Fiordland from January 2 to 6:
- Offer price: 50.33
- Starting price: 71.90
– It shouldn't be difficult
The Norwegian Consumer Protection Authority has previously confirmed that the advance price set must be the lowest price the product has reached in the last 30 days.
– It shouldn't be difficult for strings to understand the rules. If this had been a small local store, I would have realized they were wrong. But for big chains, this should be fine, says Ron Hansen.
Rune also calculated what customers lose. Because if Coop had used the correct advance price, customers would have received a 30 percent discount on the price from the December offer. This means that the correct bid price in January should have been 32.29, not 50.33.
Ron informed Coop that there were errors in the show's advertisement. He also purred for answers. But only after Ron contacted Nettavisen did he receive an apology and a NOK 300 gift card.
– Coop says honesty is one of its most important values. Then they need to make sure the ads can be trusted and don't fool customers into thinking the offers are better than they really are, says Ron Hansen.
Consequently, both Coop and Rema 1000 made errors regarding the advance prices stated in the offers.
Nettavisen has also been in contact with Kiwi. They inform Nettavisen that they always ensure that the price offered is the lowest price Kiwi has received for the item in the last 30 days.
Journalist Nettavisen's advice is here!
Collaboration admits mistakes.
– It is true that these products should have had a lower initial price, says Harald Christiansen, communications director at Coop.
He says it's a big task for Coop to follow the rules.
– We have to realize that we currently do not have a technical solution good enough to get the lowest initial price for the last 30 days, so this is a big manual task, says Christiansen.
– Since we are in a competitive industry with frequent changes in prices, offers and campaigns, these regulations will be more demanding, he says.
– It is not intended to deceive
He says Coop must follow applicable laws and regulations and that they strive to always use the correct initial price.
“We are owned by customers, we share profits with them, and we have no intention of misleading them,” he says.
– What do you say to those who feel cheated, since you advertised 30 percent at a very high initial price?
– Coop has no intention of deceiving its customers, who own us, and we apologize if anyone feels this way. “We are working now to ensure this does not happen again,” he says.
– Can customers be sure that something similar does not happen in other Coop chains?
– Coop has the chains with the largest number of offers and campaigns, and we operate in the industry with the most frequent price changes, so it is not unlikely that similar errors have occurred previously at many Coop chains, says Christiansen.
The Norwegian Consumer Authority says it is constantly assessing which industries it should monitor more closely.
– The latest media reports may indicate that the industry has not adhered to the new rules that came on October 1, 2023, Deputy Director Marit Evensen tells Nettavisen.
There's no wiggle room when it comes to using raw prices in sales ads.
– Here the rules are quite clear. When dealers market a markdown, they must state the initial price. The initial price must be the lowest price reached by the trader in the last 30 days. The discount must also be calculated from this price. There are no exceptions to this, says Evensen.
In other words, the pre-price co-op you used is not in line with the legislation.
Customers are asked to communicate
Coop has this message for customers who discover errors.
– It should not be the customer's responsibility to have to follow this. “It's our responsibility to get the prices right,” says Harald Christiansen at Coop.
– If customers nevertheless discover instances of incorrect initial prices in the store, we encourage them to contact us so that we can correct the error as quickly as possible, he says.
– Rima 1000 refunded customers who did not get the correct discount. Would you do the same thing?
– Prix customers who believe they did not receive the correct discount are encouraged to find the documentation and contact our Customer Center to resolve this issue, Christiansen says.
– Can you guarantee that the cooperative will not continue to advertise at incorrect initial prices?
– I can guarantee that we will do everything we can to ensure that this does not happen again.
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