February 24th, 2017

Wegmans, a mid-Atlantic grocery store chain with more than 90 locations in six states, has agreed to scrub the phrase “Don’t shop around town” from sales signs in its stores that compared its prices to Costco’s in response to a recent NAD decision.

NAD said that instructing consumers not to shop around when prices can change at any time isn’t the best advice for customers. It further recommended that Wegmans note on the signs that prices are indeed subject to change. In addition, NAD suggested that Wegmans clearly disclose the date on which the prices were recorded.

Costco challenged Wegmans’ advertising with NAD, arguing that the price comparison signs are deceptive in that Wegmans does not in fact sell the same items for less.

The takeaway? When it comes to grocery shopping, do shop around town instead of taking one store’s word over another that its prices are the best.

Find more of our coverage on pricing issues here.

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The National Advertising Division, or NAD, is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation. It is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus. NAD asks advertisers to substantiate or change their claims in advertisements. As part of a voluntary system of self-regulation, however, its recommendations can be ignored by the offending advertisers. In those instances, NAD refers the offender to federal consumer protection agencies.


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