22 NEWS Deal or no deal?

As a nation of bargain hunters Brits are quick to spot what they think is a good deal, and in January UK retail sales increased by 1.8 percent year-on- year as shoppers sought out bargains in the sales, according to the British Retail Consortium. However, a survey of 2,000 consumers conducted by PriceSpy, the impartial price and product comparison site, revealed that Brits perhaps aren’t the savviest shoppers when it comes to snapping up a deal. More than one in ten

shoppers blithely assume they are getting a good deal in the sale, whilst just 37 percent compare the

discounted price to the RRP. This means that shoppers are often duped by offers that are too good to be true. Black Friday is one day

of the year that shoppers expect to secure significant discounts, but data from PriceSpy reveals that some retailers hiked prices up ahead of Black Friday 2018, with almost a fifth of products increasing in price by an average of 12 percent. This is a tactic increasingly employed by major retailers throughout the year to make offers appear more significant than they really are. That being the case, it is concerning that less than four in ten shoppers use a price comparison service to

see if they’re getting a good deal. Even more concerning is that 35 percent of Brits rely on Google to show them the best deal, unaware that the items on display are advertisements rather than genuine price comparison. This increases to 44 percent amongst the 16-35 age group. In the summer of 2017,

the European Union commissioned a record fine of £2.2bn against Google, which according to the EU’s investigation had systematically favoured its own shopping service at the expense of similar competing services.

Vanessa Katsapa, country manager of PriceSpy UK & Ireland, commented: “With ongoing concerns over price increases on everyday essentials, consumers continue to prioritise value for money. In turn, retailers continue competing over who can offer the best price which has led to a cycle of constant discounting. “For shoppers, this means

they actively need to observe how prices fluctuate to understand when something is a genuine deal. Price comparison services exist to enable shoppers to research price history of products and compare and set up price alerts to ensure they get the best price. “Don’t be lulled into the

false economy that prices are always cheaper during sale periods.”

MARKET TRADER, APRIL 12 - 25, 2019 Award for market revamp

A Lancashire city council has been shortlisted for a national award for the way it has revitalised its Markets Quarter. The renovation of the two Grade II Listed Victorian canopies

and the building of the new market hall in Preston have caught the eye of the judges in The Planning Awards 2019. The scheme will contest the category for the best use of publicly-owned land or property with six other entries – all of them in the South of England. Preston’ Council’s submission says: “The project has delivered an attractive and vibrant ‘European-style’ market that provides an improved food offer but which retains some of the more traditional market stalls. “What makes our scheme particularly exciting and unique is

the free-standing glazed Market Hall under the main canopy. “The restoration of the listed canopies has been carried

out to a very high standard, preserving and celebrating the quality of these historic structures. “Finally we believe that the project has adhered to the council’s values of ‘keeping it local,’ having been designed and built by local businesses for the benefit of the people of Preston.” The Planning Awards are run by Planning Magazine and recognise excellence in both planning and placemaking. Winners of the 25 categories will be announced on June 4.

Traders arrested and goods seized

Two people were arrested after suspected stolen and fake goods were seized by the police near Watford Market. A 34 year-old man and a 22 year-old

man were arrested on suspicion of handling stolen goods and were taken into police custody. Police officers, Trading Standard

and council officers carried out search warrants at a number of market stalls and shops. Suspected stolen goods such

as mobile phones and suspected counterfeit items including handbags were seized by police. Speaking on the day of the raid, Watford Chief Inspector Matt Phillips told local media: “I am very pleased with today’s result, and today’s operation demonstrates how we are working closely with partners in order to drive criminal activity out of our town, as well as further build our intelligence picture.” Elected Mayor of Watford, Peter Taylor, added: “We work closely with the

police and other partners to make sure that Watford is a safe and welcoming place. We will always take action when any activities that impact on the safety of people living in our town come to light. “The good news is that the operation

was carried out quickly and successfully. Businesses were able to stay open and normal business resumed very quickly in the town centre. “I want to continue to make sure that

we are cracking down on crime in our town.”



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