Retailers including Walmart, Costco, Walgreens, CVS, Drugstore.com and FreshDirect have agreed to bring unit pricing information to their web and mobile shopping, New York attorney general Eric T. Schneiderman said Tuesday. Schneiderman has called on retailers to adopt the policy citing the growing influence of ecommerce.
Amazon.com has not agreed to participate, Schneiderman’s office added.
“As the internet becomes the shopping mall of the 21st century, we need to ensure that consumers have the same robust protections online that they do in brick-and-mortar stores,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “Making New York more affordable for the middle class includes empowering consumers to spend their money wisely. This agreement, in which government and the private sector worked collaboratively to adapt conventional rules to an evolving marketplace, is a victory for consumers. I commend these retailers for recognizing the need for transparency and promoting openness online."
Unit pricing information will be introduced at the websites of participating retailers within nine months.
Prior to this initiative, unit pricing information online was rare. Among large retailers, full availability of unit pricing was limited to online grocer Peapod, Schneiderman said.
Although Amazon displays unit pricing on some of its pages, it does not provide the information uniformly across its platforms. Furthermore, its subsidiaries do not currently display unit pricing. Amazon said it would extend unit pricing to its subsidiary Quidsi, which operates online stores like Soap.com, but refused to commit to that in a written agreement. It also would not agree to extend unit pricing to pages where that information is absent, nor would it commit to continue providing unit pricing information to consumers in the future, Schneiderman said.
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