For Immediate Release - September 25, 2012

Patrick-Murray Administration's Division of Standards to Hold Public Comment Session on Item Pricing Regulations


New Law Allows for Food Stores to Use Price Scanner Systems


WHAT: As the Patrick-Murray Administration's Division of Standards prepares to issue rules for food stores and food departments that plan to implement consumer price scanner systems - while continuing to provide rules for food stores and food departments that utilize individual item pricing - a public informational hearing will be held on October 16 to gather input for the drafting of the regulations. The new law allows for changing technology while providing strong consumer protections so that consumers will know the price of an item before they get to the register.

The upcoming regulations are required by legislation signed by Governor Patrick on July 3, 2012, which will become effective on January 1, 2013. The new law provides consumer protections for shoppers in Massachusetts who will be shopping in food stores and food departments that implement consumer price scanner systems. While some food retailers will continue to price most individual items, the shift to consumer scanner systems will begin in January in many other stores. The new law requires that each item in a scanner system store have a code affixed to it that can be read by a scanner, as well as signs at the item's sales display point that identify its correct price and an unabbreviated description of the item. For retailers using a dual pricing system for loyalty cards, both prices must be disclosed at the point of sale, as well as the amount or percent of savings offered by the card for that item.

Under the new law, checkout prices will also need to be printed on itemized sales receipts, allowing consumers to track purchases and identify what prices have been charged for each item, so they can readily check for any errors. Consumers will need to be charged the lowest represented price, and incorrect checkout pricing will have real consequences, allowing the customer to get the lowest price, or a free item if the item is mispriced and costs under $10.

State Transportation Building
10 Park Plaza, Conference Rooms 2 & 3
Boston, MA 02116

WHEN: Tuesday, October 16, 2012, 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM

Written comments may be submitted to the Division of Standards throughout the rulemaking process to Division of Standards, One Ashburton Place, Room 1115, Boston, Massachusetts, 02108 or to .