Puerto Rican supermarket chain Econo received the best marks in a study conducted by the Consumer Affairs Department, known as DACO, which evaluated the performance of the island’s best-known grocers.
During visits to establishments run by Amigo, Econo, Ralph’s Food Warehouse, Plaza Loíza, Pueblo, Selectos, Supermax and Walmart, the agency gave scores of one to four on seven parameters established by DACO’s Deceptive Practices regulation, said Consumer Affairs Secretary Nery Adames on Tuesday.
The categories evaluated were availability of advertised sale items, shelf labeling, relation between the shelf price and the register, expired products, packaging, general signeage, and overall placement of the regulations, which must be visible for consumers to read.
After the evaluation, Econo was found to comply with 91 percent of DACO’s parameters; Ralph’s, 88 percent; Supermax, 84 percent; Pueblo and Selectos tied for 83 percent; Plaza Loíza, 78 percent; and Amigo and Walmart came in last at 72 percent.
“We’re very pleased with the results obtained at this stage, when we visited about 20 supermarkets. With this effort we seek to guide consumers on best practices of responsible businesses and give them a guide to make their purchases confident that DACO is watching out for their rights,” Adames said. “We also hope that supermarkets see this study and that the favorable results of their competitors prompt them to comply with the agency’s regulations.”
In most supermarkets, overall product labeling had no violations. Positive results were also found on product availability announced in the sales ad. Meanwhile, only four supermarkets violated the stipulation regarding packaging, the agency noted.
However, the expired products category turned up the biggest mix of results. While the Selectos store located in Los Prados in Caguas had no infractions, the SuperMax store in Isla Verde turned up 100 infractions in this category.
DACO staff is expected to continue with the project during subsequent visits to other regions outside the San Juan metropolitan area.