There’s some good news and bad from store survey

A new economics ministry study showed that 94 percent of supermarket items met the legal requirement of displaying a unit price, the agency said Thursday.

The legal compliance dipped drastically when items were on a special or promotion.

A popular Escazú store, Walmart, once again was an offender, said the ministry’s consumer division.

The ministry, the Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio, reported the results of a survey from April 17 to 24 of 17 establishments. The surveyors were looking as shelf items that were on special as part of a promotion.

The law says that such items must show the prior and the current price. In addition, they supermarkets060515also must show what the benefit is to the consumer. The benefit may be expressed in terms of savings by buying bundled amounts of an item on special.

Surveyors determined that only 65 percent of the stores complied with this rule. The bulk of the stores in violation have been cited in the past, the ministry said.

However, the stores seem to be playing straight on price. The ministry asked the  Laboratorio Costarricense de Metrología to verify weights and quantity, Only one of 15 samples failed, the ministry said.

As usual when checking prices, the surveyors found a range 113 percent different among the stores for the same item and 407 percent among similar items

The details of the survey are on the ministry Web site.

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