DESPITE the increased costs of supermarkets bringing goods to their shelves during the State of Alarm, none of the larger retailers here in Spain have yet passed these expenses on to their customers. Logistical issues such as transport, shortage of staff due to sickness and additional costs such as purchasing masks and gloves for staff have all added to the expenses. However, a report by consultants Oliver Wyman has said that prices have remained stable even among small or independent retailers. “In other countries we have seen that the smaller food chains have increased prices, but the larger ones have maintained them despite the fact that manufacturing costs have risen, but in Spain consumer prices are being maintained. It is a commitment of their brands with the clients” said María Miralles, head of the retail and mass consumption area of Oliver Wyman in the EU free trade region.
What buyers are unlikely to be seeing is offers and promotions in an effort to partly absorb the increased costs to the supermarkets, said Ms Miralles. Consumer loyalty has fallen during the lockdown period, partly as shoppers are obliged to visit their closest outlet rather than their usual preference. After things are back to normal some people may continue to follow this pattern if they have found themselves pleased with the “new” shop and there may well be campaigns to “win-back” customers.