Religion Magazine

Proposed Law: No More Individual Product Pricing

By Gldmeier @gldmeier
A few years ago Israel passed a law requiring all products on the shelves in the supermarkets to be marked with a price, so that customers would know what they are paying. It would bring some clarity to the supermarket shopping experience, rather than the confusion that reigned prior with poor signage.
The law passed but it has not been overly enforced. In some supermarkets, most products get marked, but many do not. Sometimes they get marked in ways that do not necessarily match the shelf signs. And some supermarkets barely bother to mark the products at all. But overall I think it is mostly adhered to and the consumers are largely better off for it.
That might soon change.
MK Amir Ohana (Likud) is proposing a law that would cancel the requirement for marking every individual product on the shelf, and instead require a sign nearby on the shelf or a nearby electric display.
Ohana claims that this will help bring prices down. The overhead involved in marking every product causes prices to go up significantly. Cancelling this requirement, he says, will save the Israeli consumer 200-million shekels each year.
Ohana also claims that this will free up workers from the job of pricing stock items and redirect them to being cashiers and this will move people through the supermarkets quicker (i.e. cutting the wait time in lines).
source: TheMarker
I think that last bit is wishful thinking. Every stock boy or girl can suddenly be given the responsibility and trust of being a cashier and handling the money? And who is to say the supermarket owner won't just fire the extra staff and keep his lines the way they have been until now?
And if the supermarket owners are not firing these extra stock boys who until now have been busy pricing products but moving them into other positions, why would prices drop - the overhead is staying as high as it was before? So, either it will cause layoffs and maybe some savings, or no savings and no layoffs? And, of course, there is a third option - the owners might lay all these people off and still not cut the prices.
And that is ignoring the problem that most supermarkets probably will not be careful about proper and clear signage.
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