Although supermarkets give detailed figures to their trade body, the Institute of Grocery Distribution, they do not give the public access to the data and reports different figures in their financial results.
The sales figures would enable investors to access supermarkets’ true like-for-like sales.
Currently, many retailers adjust the figures when they report like-for-like sales to show their performance in the most favourable light possible. They can do this because the calculation of this market-sensitive information is not yet subject to accounting regulation.
The news comes as leading supermarkets Sainsburys and Safeways report their interim results.
Safeway chief executive Calros Criado-Perez told the Financial Times last week that supermarket chiefs ‘sit down and adjust the [figures] they give to the market [putting their spin on [them]’.
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