Sainsbury's staff buy cheap loaves from Iceland to sell on



Staff at a Sainsbury's store were spotted buying discounted loaves of bread from an Iceland store next door, then selling them on with a 50% mark-up.

So how could this happen, and is this the most ridiculous pricing we have seen at the supermarkets?


The Sainsbury's Local store in Cheadle Village, Stockport, had run out of Warburtons Toastie white loaves. It appears that the store had only been open for a week and hadn't got the hang of stocking levels.

A staff member had seen them on sale at the Iceland next door, so decided to pop round and buy 20 of them, at the discounted price of £1. He then re-stocked the shelves directly from his Iceland carrier bag at the standard Sainsbury's price of £1.49.

He was spotted by customers, who reported his actions to the Manchester Evening News. They contacted Sainsbury's, who said that the staff member had broken company policy. A Sainsbury's spokesman told the newspaper: "Our colleagues were trying to be helpful but on this occasion got it wrong. We've reminded the store about the support they have to keep shelves fully stocked to ensure customers can get what they need from Sainsbury's."

The Daily Mail reported that the Office of Fair Trading confirmed that no laws had been broken.

Supermarkets can charge what they like for the brands. Typically bread will be marked up for a profit of around 20% or 30% - so we must assume that either Iceland was selling them as a loss-leader, or that Sainsbury's was charging over the odds.

10 consumer rights you should know

10 consumer rights you should know

More mistakes

It serves as a reminder that even household names have people on the ground in every store making decisions, and making mistakes, so we need to be careful about pricing when we shop.

When we reported in March about a half price offer that looked like a price rise thanks to the labelling, AOL users shared their experiences.

Tesco had managed to price crisps normally £2.99, on special offer at £3. They also had packets of sauce at 73p each or 3 for £3, and drinks sachets for 16p each or four for £1. The Co-op, meanwhile, 'reduced' their rump steak from £3.75 to £3.89.

As one commenter put it: "Involve human beings in anything and there are bound to be errors. I don't exclude myself from the inevitability of this statement either."

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