Coles has extended a popular policy aimed at helping customers reduce pain at the checkout as inflation soars.
Coles is extending its price freeze program, in a win for Aussie shoppers staring down the barrel of soaring inflation and interest rate hikes.
The supermarket, along with its main rival Woolworths both implemented price freezes on hundreds of items in the middle of 2022. Coles’ freeze was due to finish on January 31 — Woolworths’ has already expired.
But Coles has had a change of heart, announcing late on Monday afternoon the ‘Dropped and Locked’ campaign would continue beyond this month.
“Dropped and locked will continue beyond January 31, when the first phase of the promotion was scheduled to end,” a Coles spokesperson confirmed to NCA NewsWire, adding further details would be provided “soon”.
Essential trolley items in the supermarkets’ price freeze included flour, sugar, oats, eggs, cheese, bacon and nappies.
Woolies cut the prices of WW RSPCA Chicken Mince 500g ($6.50 to $6), Mersey Valley cheese 180g ($7.50 to $6) and Dilmah Premium Leaf Tea 50g ($5.30 to $3.70).
Coles cut the prices of staples such as a 1kg container of Flora margarine spread which was reduced by 45 cents to $8.95, while 50 cents was taken off a $8 jar of Bega Peanut Butter in August last year.
Coles brand flour ($2.40 to $2) and chicken pieces ($9/kg to $8.50/kg) were among other products reduced.
It’s unclear at this stage if the prices will return to their original pre-policy pricing when Dropped and Locked finally does end, or if the new prices will be higher.
The potential price hikes come amid growing pressure on household budgets from elsewhere, with the Reserve Bank raising interest rates for eight consecutive months to reach 3.1 per cent, the highest level in more than a decade.
A Woolworths spokesperson said the chain had recently reduced the price of more than 300 “summer grocery staples” in a bid to ease consumer pain at the checkout.
“We know cost-of-living pressures are being felt by Australian families, and throughout 2023 we will continue to work hard to help them save each time they shop with us,” the spokesperson said.
“While the price freeze program has come to an end, we remain focused on maximising value for our customers, and many of the products from the program currently remain at the same low price.
“We will continue to review each cost increase request from our suppliers on a case-by-case basis, working together to sensitively manage market-wide inflationary pressures.”
A Coles spokesperson said its Dropped and Locked scheme had received an “incredible response” from customers.
“With cost-of-living pressures, customers know they can rely on these locked prices at Coles each time they go shopping to help plan and manage their budgets,” they said.
“We will also continue to focus on value through weekly specials Down Down and Everyday Low Prices, which offer key staples at trusted pricing for the longer term, and through other offers such as Flybuys points.”
Extracted from news.com.au