Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Saturday 18 August 2007

Tesco exposed (again) for gouging Highland motorists.

Tesco is charging 4p more for a litre of petrol at its 'Tesco extra' store in Inverness (95.9p) than it charges at its store in Elgin (91.9p), about 40 miles east of Inverness. Both stores are supplied with fuel from the same facility, located at the Longman Industrial Estate in Inverness, a very short distance from the Tesco in Inverness.

Why the difference? Very simple really. There is a large 'Asda' in Elgin, and there is none in Inverness (whose application to open there has been delayed by planning concerns - I wonder who is behind the delays, heh?). A further difference is that Asda has a national pricing policy which applies to petrol as to everything else it sells, whereas Tesco prices according to local market conditions - but as Tesco has a more dominant position in Inverness, apparently, than any place else in the country (Britain, not just Scotland) it is effectively the 'market maker' so its claim to be following the local market in its pricing policies is, to say the least, disingenuous!

Well I live 15 miles east of Inverness and about 27 from Elgin, so I think I'll start increasing the frequency of my visits to Elgin as I quite like Asda as a supermarket anyway, so Tesco will be deprived not just of my petrol purchases, but my grocery puchases, too. Not that one person will make much difference, but if enough people start taking direct action as consumers, maybe Tesco will eventually be forced to behave better. Tesco has not been a purveyor of 'pile it high, sell it cheap' for many, many years - its undoubted convenience has become like a drug for far too many people and we need to wean ourselves off it!

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