Ban on pric­ing spies

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

The owner of New World Porirua has be­gun is­su­ing tres­pass or­ders af­ter what he calls the theft of his in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty – his prices.

Tony McNeil says Porirua has the most com­pet­i­tive su­per­mar­ket en­vi­ron­ment in the coun­try. While he ac­knowl­edges pricecheck­ing is com­mon among the stores, he says it has be­come ridicu­lous due to his own ag­gres­sive pric­ing.

‘‘We’ve been kick­ing peo­ple out of the store reg­u­larly in the past two weeks. They are com­ing in with huge lists and spend­ing up to two hours check­ing prices. One lady told me she was check­ing on things for her son’s 21st party, but there was dog food on her list.

‘‘An­other was in our health and beauty aisle for over an hour [last] week.’’

Mr McNeil is adamant it is not Pak ‘n Save but Pro­gres­sive En­ter­prises – who own Count­down – who are em­ploy­ing peo­ple to price-check. He tres­passed two peo­ple last week and is con­fi­dent of ban­ning at least six more soon.

He says he has ex­ten­sive video footage of the ac­tions of the price-check­ers, who use long lists, as well as cell­phones to record prices. ‘‘We don’t mind peo­ple com­par­ing prices, we ac­cept that, but not to this level. It’s hap­pen­ing ev­ery day and they are bla­tant. This is my in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty, it’s in­dus­trial es­pi­onage.’’

Count­down’s as­sis­tant store man­ager Low­ell Robin­son says none of their em­ploy­ees reg­u­larly check out the com­peti­tors’ prices.

‘‘We don’t have enough hours in the day to be do­ing that.’’

He says it is ‘‘doubt­ful’’ that Pro­gres­sive’s head of­fice would sanc­tion such ac­tions ei­ther.

Pro­gres­sive’s head of­fice in Auck­land did not pro­vide a com­ment be­fore our dead­line.

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