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Trading Standards staff check prices are clear in smaller shops

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TRADING Standards officers from Leicester City Council have been supporting an operation to ensure clear pricing is on display in smaller shops.

Operation Londonite was carried out by Trading Standards staff in local authorities across the East Midlands to support a national Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) pricing project. Officers conducted market surveillance visits to a cross-section of retail premises – particularly smaller, independent grocery stores - to check compliance with the pricing of food products and non-alcoholic drinks.

During the visits, officers checked that there was pricing on display and that the pricing corresponded to the items on the shelves. They also put a number of items through a till to ensure that the price on display corresponded with the price charged at the point of sale. Businesses were also given advice and leaflets on pricing.

Across the East Midlands, a total of 195 premises were visited, with some form of non-compliance identified in 104 (53.3%) of premises. There were 8,679 products examined for indication of price, with non-compliance identified in 487 (5.6%) instances.

In total, 503 offers were examined for misleading pricing, with non-compliance identified in 25 (5.0%) instances. The most common items which were linked to non-compliance were bread, milk, fruit and vegetables, eggs, sugar, cheese, tuna, herbs and spices.

Ronald Ruddock from Trading Standards at Leicester City Council said: “We visited 14 small and medium sized premises in Leicester city between 19 December 2023 and 17 January 2024 as part of Operation Londonite. The aim of the visits was to gauge the level of compliance with the law in Leicester, and to provide advice.”

Premises visited included newsagents, off-licences, butchers, fishmongers, local and independent supermarkets, and also franchises.

In total, 113 products were examined for price indications and seven did not exhibit prices. Twenty products were examined for unit price indications and all were found to be correct. Thirteen products were examined that had offers and only one product did not correspond to the offer.

A total of 46 products were tested at the point of sale and all were found to be correct.

A common reason given when pricing non-compliance was identified was that it was due to oversight, however assurances were given by shop staff that any price-related issues raised by consumers were dealt with by issuing refunds.

While compliance was generally good, two warnings were issued to businesses, who were also provided with compliance advice. Seven ‘good practice’ letters were sent following the operation.

Mr Ruddock added: “Overall, we are pleased to see there is not a major problem in Leicester, but it is important we conduct regular compliance checks to safeguard customers and we will, from time to time, conduct inspection visits to assess compliance with price marking practices.

“Trading Standards seeks to provide protection to consumers, particularly the most vulnerable, from unclear and misleading pricing on essential goods.”

The operation was conducted following a review by the CMA of the way in which grocery retailers display their prices in-store to assess whether they were clear, accurate and matched the price people were charged at the till. Leicester City Trading Standards is considering following up on this project later in the year.

For more advice on providing price information, businesses can visit and search ‘providing price information’.

 Advice for consumers if you come across misleading or incorrect pricing is available on the Citizens Advice website at

You can report businesses to Trading Standards if you think they are deliberately misleading consumers. To do this, call Citizens Advice on 0808 223 1133, or find more help at