plan for discount explanation Retailers from all sectors of the industry have slammed plans from Brussels to regulate special offers. A proposal adopted by the European Commission in October and currently being debated by the European Parliament says retailers should be given greater flexibility to sell goods at a loss through hefty discounts, bogofs and other megadeals. In turn, they must provide greater transparency by producing PoS information detailing the exact amount of the discount in percentage terms and whether goods are being sold at below cost price. Retailers would also be required to indicate the length of their promotions. If it is approved by the Council of Ministers, it could become law by next year. Unlike many continental counterparts, UK retailers are already free to sell goods below cost, but the labelling requirements have provoked outrage. Safeway director of communications Kevin Hawkins said: "Simply putting the cost price on the shelf only tells you about a retailer's gross margin and nothing about the actual profits it is making. "They tried doing this type of thing before in France and it's unworkable." ACS public affairs manager James Lowman said defining costs and cost prices would be a complete minefield for independents. And RGDATA, the lobby group for retailers in the Irish Republic, said such transparency could also hurt suppliers: "Large multiples would be able to see the competitive deals that other multiples have secured and could place pressure on suppliers to match these deals." {{NEWS }}