Frontpage  About
Paper info: Cheapest on the Market? Representing Prices in Retail Trade


Cheapest on the Market? Representing Prices in Retail Trade


Hans Kjellberg
Stockholm School of Economics
Hans Kjellberg and Johan Hagberg

Place of Publication

The paper was published at the 27th IMP-conference in Glasgow, Scotland in 2011.


Download paper
(696.9 kb)


Inspired by the ”pragmatic turn” in market studies, this paper is a first attempt to explore price representation practices and trace their consequences for the enactment of the represented markets. The paper specifically addresses price representations in the field of retailing using three empirical examples. The first example illustrates the existence of multiple price representations in the everyday life of consumers. The second example concerns how a formal price comparison is conducted (the Swedish National Pensioners’ Organisation, PRO, annual price investigations). The third example describes a price representation controversy based on a case from the Swedish Market Court concerning two companies in the DIY building materials sector. Five aspects concerning price representations that need further exploration are identified: the proliferation of price representations, the use of price representations in market conduct, variation of what is represented, for whom price representations are representative, and their sensitivity and consequences.
Keywords: price, representation, market studies, retailing