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Questions are being raised in the Colorado media about a pricing program being used by Nash-Finch at its Avanza store there.

The deal is this. Nash-Finch advertises item prices, which is also displayed on the shelves, but adds 10 percent to the basket total at checkout.

There are signs posted in the store that explain the program, and the 10 percent surcharge is clearly indicated on register receipts, suggesting that this actually lowers prices for shoppers, but local media reports say that at least some customers are complaining that they have been deceived.

KC's View:
Not being in Colorado, I cannot accurately say whether the facts behind this program are being accurately and comprehensively communicated. Though it is fair to say that if the customer doesn’t get it, it is the retailer’s fault – because it is the retailer’s responsibility to make sure that shoppers get it.

I will say this, though. None of the stories that I read about this program communicated very clearly what the shelf/advertised price represented. In other words, if the self price is “cost,” and the 10 percent is “margin,” and this is demonstrably cheaper than elsewhere, then I understand it.

But that kind of clear, transparent communication doesn’t seem to be happening. Which makes the store look bad.