More businesses move to freeze prices on consumer products

More businesses have decided to join large supermarket chains in freezing prices as consumer inflation started to show signs of slipping last month with officials expecting a downward trend in inflation to continue in the coming months.

Cooperative grocers decided to freeze prices on a total of 150 items, Bendevi Palandöken, head of by the Confederation of Turkish Tradesmen and Craftsmen (TESK) told daily Milliyet.

He recalled that large supermarkets already announced that they would not change the prices for a month in January. "Local, smaller supermarkets are following suit."

They moved to freeze prices on most-consumed products, including sugar, flour, pasta, dairy products and cheese, according to Palandöken.

He noted that the Trade Ministry launched a website which shows the lowest prices in the market. "This helps to arrest the increase in prices."

There are presently 250 cooperative grocers in six provinces, including Istanbul, Ankara, Konya, Rize and Trabzon, and their number will rise above 1,500 by the end of the year, Palandöken said.

Cooperative grocers are part of the KoopBakkal project, which was launched by the Agricultural Credit Cooperatives of Türkiye (Tarım Kredi Kooperatifleri) to reach out to more consumers. Those stores sell Tarım Kredi Kooperatifleri products.

The government also provides financing between 500,000 Turkish Liras and 1 million liras to those enterprises at an affordable interest rate of 7.5 percent, Palandöken said.

Palandöken voiced optimism that retailers' decision to freeze prices will help bring inflation under control.

Earlier this month, large supermarkets, ŞOK, Migros, A101 and CarrefourSA announced that they will freeze or reduce prices on a wide range of...

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