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Huge price difference in essential shopping items in D&G

The report reveals typical goods can vary from £8.79 to £24.70 Photo: PA

A new survey claims that a basket of essential shopping in South West Scotland could vary drastically depending on where you live.

The Citizens Advice Service in Dumfries and Galloway says a basket of typical goods can vary from under £9 in major towns to almost £25 in some rural areas.

But retailers have accused the survey of not taking into account other factors such as the quality of the products.

Big supermarkets in the area are said to be charging varying prices for the same items in different stores close by.

The report also warns that shoppers in the poorest areas are the ones paying the highest prices.

It claims essential items such as nappies and tampons are found to be the products with the biggest price differences, and are often unavailable in local shops.

The CAS Chief Executive for Dumfries and Galloway said:

We did similar research in 2014 and found significant price variations then, so we wanted to update that research to see if the problems still existed.

"Overall the research finds that the price variations we first uncovered three years ago still exist, and indeed in many ways have got worse. Clearly our evidence suggests that people could make savings by shopping around, but the size and geography of our region makes that difficult, particularly for those on low incomes and those reliant on public transport.

"Shops are an important part of any local community, particularly those in smaller rural towns and villages like those across Dumfries and Galloway. We understand that transportation costs are a concern for all businesses but we ask that the supermarket chains will reflect on the data we have published today and ensure that they are treating customers fairly.”

– Sue Irving, Chief Executive, D&G CAS

A Co-op spokesperson commented:

The survey does not offer a like for like comparison on products or brands.

It is like comparing apples with pears and discredits the findings of the report.

We always aim to offer value to our customers and our own-brand goods provide members with a 5% reward which gives cash back to shoppers – something not reflected in the survey.

Our ongoing price investment strategy on fresh food and essentials helps to lower the cost of every day products at our stores which are in every postal area and are open long hours for the convenience of our customers.”

– Co-op spokesperson