Some Retailers increased the price of Locally Produced Exercise Books

12/01/2015 16:32

An in-house survey of exercise books conducted by the Consumer Council of Fiji clearly shows an increase in the price of some locally-produced exercise books.

Just like the Council, parents also expected the price of locally produced exercise books to remain same or reduced as a result of competition.

This year’s survey was carried out in 12 retail outlets which looked at the prices of some of the most commonly purchased brands and book types. The survey found that of 85 types of exercise books surveyed, more than 30% (26 types) have had price increases compared to prices gathered in the same period in 2014 and immediately after the budget announcement in November 2014. A total of 18 books (21.2%) dropped in price, while 35 books had no price change from 2014.

The Council is disappointed that some retailers had increased the prices on some locally produced exercise books such as Oxford and Ivola, which are widely available in the marketplace.

After the survey, the Council contacted the major exercise book manufacturers who confirmed that they had not increased the wholesale price of the locally produced books.

The Government had introduced 32 per cent duty on imported exercise books as announced in the 2015 national budget, assuring that this would not result in increase in prices of locally made exercise books.

The Council contacted the retailers who were selling locally produced exercise books at a higher price to understand the rationale behind this increase. One retailer blamed his staff for putting wrong price tag on the exercise books while another retailer gave excuse that they had dropped the price of text books and to recover this cost, they increased the price of exercise books.

With parents rushing to round-off their back to school shopping, the Council is once again calling on the families to compare the prices of the items in particular the exercise books before spending their money.

Parents are also advised to watch out for quality when buying school items such as shoes, bags, stationary and exercise books.