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The Christmas shopping postcode lottery

An investigation by the Daily Mail has found potential evidence of a Christmas shopping postcode lottery whereby some items can cost as much as double in certain areas of the UK. One particular example given was the autobiography of singer Cheryl Cole which is said to cost £9.99 in WH Smith London stores, almost double the cost of the same item in the company's Glasgow store. While these claims are unsubstantiated, the Daily Mail investigation has opened up a potential can of worms.

Electronic equipment was also heavily mentioned in the report with allegations that the same Canon digital camera was costing £60 more in John Lewis London stores when compared to the John Lewis Bristol store. However, it is in many ways unfair it to compare like-for-like because operating costs in the London area will be substantially higher than those in the Bristol area. Whether they should have an impact upon the pricing of goods is debatable but at the end of the day if it costs more to run the London operation then it will need more income to survive which ultimately means a higher cost to UK consumers.

Despite claims that retailing spending this Christmas will not be as disappointing as many had expected, it is unlikely to set the world alight during these very difficult economic times.

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