Supermarkets are popular for cheaper fares. Bangladesh is not.

ACI bought iodized salt at Tk 30 per kg and resold it at Tk 38 with a profit of 25 percent.

They also bought Fresh brand salt at 29 Tk per kg and sold it at 38 Tk with a profit of 28%.

The packet of salt is also priced at Tk 38 per kg in small grocery stores in the neighborhood.

Again a large wholesale grocery store sells it for 35 Tk.

WHAT AN EXPERT SAYS

Hannan, CAB adviser and editor of Vokta Kantho, a consumer rights magazine, said the

supermarkets abroad offer more advantageous prices because they buy products in large quantities at wholesale prices for all their points of sale. As a result, they can purchase products at a lower price than ordinary merchants. Since their activities are routine, their transportation and operating costs are lower.

“The supermarkets in our country are also chain stores. They also buy products in bulk. But they recruit local suppliers as salespeople. As a result, sellers make profits between the arrival of products from the wholesale market to supermarkets,” Hannan said.

“In general, government policy on food products is that products enter the hands of retailers through producers, intermediaries and wholesalers. But the big box stores have added another level in the supply chain, driving prices up.

He also alleged that the hypermarkets were manipulating the market for profit.

“They make false claims. A brand is created simply by packing rice bought from the mills. In this way, new value is added and the price increases.

WHAT THE SUPERSTORE AUTHORITIES SAY

Abdus Sabur Khan, director of business and commercial affairs at retail chain Agora, said they run the business in accordance with government guidelines and never charge customers more than the retail price mentioned on the product packaging. .

“We always try to follow the price list published by the Department of Agricultural Marketing, but sometimes prices go up when there is a supply crisis in the market,” he said.

When pricing products, producers and packers take into account the costs borne by supermarkets, said Tamim Khan, head of general business department at Shwapno supermarket.

“They set the margin accordingly and we never give them a guideline. They decide the MRP based on fixed costs, promotional costs and variable costs. We don’t charge [our customers] nothing more than MRP and trying to provide them with quality products.

He said his company was trying to offer discounts on such products because a price hike could agitate customers. “These products are sold because they are in high demand. It depends on the customers whether to buy them or not,” he said.

DNCRP chief executive Shafiquzzaman, however, does not believe what hypermarket officials are saying. “The big box stores are dictating what MRP should be to businesses. Therefore, they [superstores] are entirely responsible for the price hike,” he said.

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