More than 150 supermarket stores in western China’s Chongqing city made a bold move by binding together in a noble cause to reverse, or slow down, the doubling pork prices starting on Aug. 10. But the moralism still couldn’t resist the loss raking and it now looks to return to commercial soundness.
The participating stores did surprise consumers with much reduced price tags for their pork products on shelf, running as low as 11.98 yuan/half kilo (or 1.1 pounds). The market pushed the same category of lean meat as high as 15.9 yuan/half kilo just days ago. The stores attracted customers with “zero-profit meat” posters, which were also costing the stores at least a thousand yuan in loss per store daily, let alone profits.
Moralism soon caved in, with many of the stores quietly pulling out of the zero-profit pact, restoring prices slightly back, although not to the all-time highs. Store managers expressed the difficulties in remaining in the cause, although none formally announced they were quitting. Chongqing’s commerce authorities hope that the pact will be restored and said that the prices remain relatively high. [Full Text in Chinese]
[Image: a Chongqing store launching low-priced pork products via sina.com]