Michigan’s Unit Labeling Retail Law and Supply Chain Impact

A Wall Street Journal article (February 11,2011) describes a move to repeal the law in Michigan that requires every unit of product (“every jar of baby food, box of Jell-O and bag of spinach”  according to the article) to have a price label. Only Michigan and Massachusetts have such a law, other states permit prices to be displayed for the SKU.  Retailers complain that compliance costs them $ 2.2 billion a year and that bar codes permit accurate price to be reflected at checkout.   In addition, when prices change several times, labels have to be placed over each other and managed so they do not stick to other items.  But labor groups worry that eliminating this law will cause job loss in stores for pricers.   Does protection of the consumers interests justify these retail level costs ?  Would such price change costs, which might justify fewer price changes, help or hurt average customer retail prices ? Would pricing in states with item level pricing laws hurt customers with lower purchasing power more than others ?

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About aviyer2010

Professor
This entry was posted in Operations Management, Service Operations, Supply Chain Issues and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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