FT - James Lowman, chairman, ACS

ACS chief executive James Lowman

The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has responded to a consultation reviewing the current law on selling in imperial and metric units, highlighting issues that a move to dual pricing would have on businesses, consumers and the wider community.

The consultation was launched to review how measurements are used in trade and consumer transactions. The consultation wants to explore the views of businesses on the introduction of regulatory change that will enable businesses to voluntarily buy and sell in imperial units or imperial units alongside a less or equally prominent metric equivalent.

In its submission, ACS has highlighted outlined a number of concerns, including:

  • the introduction of a voluntary measure could dilute the common metric system which will lead businesses to de facto use of both measurements;
  • inconsistent pricing and measurement display of products across businesses in local communities will cause confusion; and
  • enforcement on the policy will create additional regulatory burden on trading standards.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “The existing system for weights and measures operates under a clear and understandable regulatory framework which gives retailers the choice to display both units of measurement, and we are concerned that the proposed restrictions would place operational burdens on retailers and cause confusion for consumers.

“They would also create an additional regulatory burden on trading standards departments who are already stretched across a wide range of enforcement priority areas that otherwise be better placed for tackling important issues such illicit vaping, tobacco and alcohol.”