This is a good idea, even though it includes a small ingredient of deceptive advertising. The idea was launched by the store Carrefour to use an information, published by Africanmanager, and make of it a marketing communication tool. Deceptive advertising, could be in the advertisement text itself speaking about «the cheapest modern distribution store» and avoids specifying that the comparison, in the article the same as in the Onap survey, was made between hypermarkets first and then between supermarkets, separately though.
However, the marketing use of this information benefits the ministry of trade and the Observatory and those who control the market and fair competition between the various operators of modern distribution. The Ministry and the Observatory have hence, launched the virtual circle of competition. This competition can only benefit consumers and the Tunisian economy.
Using the results, by the Group Chaibi, in the survey to highlight its position and shout louder than ever that it is the cheapest in Tunisia, will not leave the rest of the large retail distribution operators indifferent. Indeed, both of them contacted us and tried to know more about the matter. If the ministry followed this initiative of the «cheapest» and distributed the survey to the other operators, with all the comparative details relating to the household basket and the prices, there is no doubt that the other supermaket and hypermarket managers will examine carefully and identify the cheapest price of the competitor then “shake” their purchase centres and their sales representatives in order to somewhat review their profit margins and be up to level, this could probably lead them to reduce their prices in order to become the cheapest in their turn. This will inevitably generate an important price decrease in the household basket prices. This will, undoubtedly contribute to reducing inflation which the Central Bank of Tunisia is watching.
The ministry concluded, in a press release, conventions relating to price moderation with the large distribution sector operators. Under these conventions, it is now only a polichinelle secret, it is doing more than one concession to these same operators, within a conjecture in which prices represent not only an economic difference but also and most importantly a political one. It is now normal, even necessary, that the ministry publish these data and make them a good tool helping the various operators to compare with one another and practice fair competition for the benefit of the Tunisian consumer.
This information retention, practised by some parties within the department of trade and handicraft, does not present any advantage to the ministry. Silence, here, means economic and commercial omerta while the Tunisian Head of State has ordered the creation of a National Institute for Consumption. With the omerta practice, there is a risk that the project of the Head of State should be reduced by administrators to the rank of the other administration structures to help the consumer. It is not either through hiding behind imaginary «reserve obligations», that these «parties» in the ministry, will serve the Tunisian economy and the Tunisian consumer who is one of the main growth engines.
It is maybe not yet revealed, but the Tunisian ministry of trade and handicraft, (let’s repeat it), launched a virtual circle. Letting oneself be lulled by lies and reports that will be left on the uncaring administrators’ desks, would mean closing this virtual circle and closing the doors to fair competition, as every body knows its rules and its stakes, which is profitable to Tunisia, its economy and its consumers.