According to reports this morning, the research, which was carried out for Kingfisher by PricewaterhouseCoopers, suggests profits play almost no part in explaining the price gap.
Designed to pre-empt bad publicity expected when the government publishes a survey of international price comparisons, the Kingfisher survey found British prices were between 9% and 38% higher than in the US but that VAT of 17.5% compared with US sales tax of 4%, accounts for between 32% and 113% of the price difference.
The study compared the prices of goods sold by Kingfisher’s British outlets which include B&Q, Comet and Woolworth, with those charged by their US counterparts.
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