Retail pricing scheme

There are many, many things I like about Ontario.

Chief among them, for the purposes of the argument I am about to make, is the Liquor Control Board of Ontario. Or, for the full-name-impaired, the LCBO.

Besides the fact the LCBO has an immensely better selection of alcohol than I have seen in any single store here in Alberta, the thing about the LCBO I like the most is its pricing scheme.

You see, if you’re familiar with the LCBO, you’ll notice that so long as you have rudimentary adding skills, you can figure out how much your cart will cost simply by looking at the tag on the shelf.

In short, the price you see is the price you pay, tax, deposit, etc. included.

There are a few stores, all liquor stores, in Alberta that do the same. But it’s not a regular practice amongst all retailers.

My question is “why not?”

I cannot understand why all retailers can’t do what the LCBO does. Why do stores list a price on the shelf, and then give you a completely different price when you reach the checkout? Why is it that at item listed for 0,99$ costs 1,04$ here in Alberta?

Blah blah blah, I know it’s because the item is taxed. Fine. I get that.

The better question, then, is why can’t retailers include the tax on the price on the shelf?

They already know which items are taxed, and to what degree. Their cash registers are programmed to include the applicable and appropriate taxes for every item. They know that items like fruit are not taxed at all, but cookies are subject to tax. They know milk is not taxed, but is subject to a deposit and a recycling fee.

Why can’t they include those details on the shelf?

The LCBO does it. Europe does it. At least the places I’ve been to in Europe do.

What is the holdup here in Canada?

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