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From coffee to ketchup, retailers seek price ‘shields’ as inflation runs riot

As shoppers pay more for anything from coffee to ketchup, some retailers have started to cut or cap the price of hundreds of products as they compete for customers and set themselves up to do battle in negotiations with major packaged food makers. Eurostat said on Friday that euro zone inflation for food, alcohol and tobacco rose by 6.4% in April versus last year, compared with a 5% increase in March, as the rising cost of living in Europe extends beyond expensive energy. The head of Leclerc, France’s biggest retailer by market share, on Tuesday said it would identify the 120 items consumers buy most, including toilet paper, soap, rice and pasta, and create a “shield” whereby Leclerc will guarantee the price of those items from May 4 until July.

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