Wednesday, 12 July 2017

The future of fixed pricing in UK food stores

Have UK food retailers experimented with surge pricing? That's a form of dynamic pricing in which customers pay more at peak times or pay less during off-peak times.

The idea is to effectively manage supply and demand, avoiding queues during busy periods and spreading demand during the day.

Well, surge pricing is not exactly what's happening, at least not yet. Thanks to electronic price tags on shelves, however, food stores have the technical ability to vary prices during the day.

For example, Marks & Spencer last year tested discounting sandwiches in the morning to encourage early buying and alleviate crowds at lunchtime.

Surge pricing could be in the works for petrol, again as a way to manage supply and demand on busy days.

Still, fixed pricing is not going to disappear from food retailers, at least not for a long time. Customers will vote with their wallets if they don't like what a retailer is doing. And no store wants to lose loyal customers over a pence or a pound.