High cost of living: UK retailers cut prices

Status: 04/26/2022 12:33 p.m

Two of the UK’s largest retailers have taken an unusual step in response to the skyrocketing cost of living. They lower prices and raise wages.

Two of the UK’s largest retailers have announced price cuts and wage increases in response to the sharp rise in the cost of living.

Retailer Asda, number three in the UK market, is slashing prices on a range of fresh groceries, including rice, pasta, soft drinks and frozen foods, by an average of 12 per cent, trade magazine The Grocer reports. The company also plans to increase wages for 120,000 hourly workers to £10.10 an hour from July. That’s 60p more than the legal minimum wage for over-23s. Bonus payments and other financial benefits are also planned.

The fourth largest British chain, Morrisons, is also reducing prices on more than 100 products, The Grocer reported. For some foods such as rice, eggs, poultry and muesli, prices are expected to fall by an average of 13 percent.

Employee representatives welcome wage increases

“We know our customers are under real financial pressure right now and we want to do our part to help them,” said CEO David Potts. At the same time, Morrisons wants to increase wages for its employees by 4.5 percent. The retailer is paying a total of 73 million pounds (86.5 million euros) for this. The company had previously announced significantly lower revenues due to high inflation and the Ukraine war.

Employee representatives welcomed the wage increases. “Retail workers, mostly women, face the fact every day that they have to live with low wages,” said Nadine Houghton of the GMB union. However, the step was overdue.

In March, UK inflation had reached 6.2 percent. In April, the energy prices for households in the basic tariff rose by more than 50 percent, and social security contributions were also increased significantly.

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