NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Business

May 22, 2012

Lawmakers set to stop grocery price stickers

(Continued)

The sticker also provides other valuable information to people when they are shopping, allowing them to compare the retail price to the unit price listed on the shelf sticker to search for the best value, she said.

"The retailers' replacement pales in comparison. It offers consumer nothing for the tool they now have," Cummings said.

Under the bill, price scanners must be located in the store every 5,000 square feet — which equates to approximately every few aisles in larger supermarkets, according to proponents of the change.

The Retailers' Association of Massachusetts called the bill's advancement "great news," adding it is something they have been fighting for more than 20 years to help Massachusetts employers be more competitive.

"Frankly, it is a long time coming," Jon Hurst, president of the Retailers' Association, said. "We are the last state in the entire nation that still has antiquated price requirements. We've got to get to the point where old, antiquated laws and regulations, and tax policy don't disadvantage our employers."

Christopher Flynn, president of the Massachusetts Food Association, said his organization supports the change, and called the bill a "compromise piece of legislation," that gives some relief to retailers while still instituting strict consumer and labor protections.

"Stores must sign a waiver that no job losses will occur because of the application. The fact remains supermarkets want to take workers away from a tedious job and put them in an area that can help consumers," Flynn said.

As drafted, the provisions would take effect Jan. 1, 2013 if the bill passes in both branches and is signed into law by Gov. Deval Patrick.

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