It's cheaper to have food posted to us

Central Station | Nury Vittachi 29 Nov 2018

Reader John Richards urged this column to investigate the outrageous prices at Market Place By Jasons, a supermarket chain.

Actually, I already hate this place because it has TWO grammatical mistakes in its own name, which is pretty shocking.

We should report them to the Preservation of Apostrophes Society, or should that be Preservation of Apostrophe's Society?

Anyway, John has photographs showing that prices in Market Place (which should be one word) are three times what they should be.

It's true. A tin of John West salmon costs HK$105 in Market Place but the equivalent of HK$37 in the UK.

When John complained, he was told it was "the cost of importing food."

"Rubbish," John said.

John's right.

Market Place customers: if you have your food items individually posted to you from UK supermarkets, it would still be cheaper. The tin of salmon would be HK$59 including postage and handling.

* * *

But wait. I mentioned this to a financier friend who tells me the inside story.

Market Place is actually the hush-hush sister company of Wellcome, and stocks mostly the exact same stuff.

"It's capitalism," he said. "People who notice prices leave Market Place and go to Wellcome or the street market. Market Place mark-ups are a stupidity tax for bankers who can't be bothered to check."

* * *

Meanwhile, a reader forwarded this picture of a price sticker (shop unknown) which indicates that a product is selling at a sale price of $229.99. But the sticker is transparent - and reveals that it was cheaper before the sale at $219.99. That is so evil.

* * *

K-pop star Sandara Park is in Hong Kong. I know because she put a photo of a piece of Hong Kong toast on Twitter yesterday.

The South Korean singer is wildly popular in the Philippines, where she is known as Pambansang Krung-Kung, which means National Crazy Personality. She was in a movie called Bcuz of U and a TV show called Get It Beauty On The Road. She seems to have incredibly bad luck with titles.

Get It Beauty On The Road advises Asian women on how to avoid ghastly problems such as "pigmentation", ie, how to be white instead of brown.

* * *

Bad news. The naughty Shenzhen scientist who edited the genes of two baby girls said that he was opposed to creating designer babies. So you're not getting your Scarlett Johansson clone, Klaus.

He Jiankui turned up at the gene conference at Hong Kong University yesterday and apologized for the "leak" of his work. Leak? He gave an interview to one of the biggest press agencies in the world and put a video of himself on YouTube. How is that a leak?

* * *

It reminds me of the Macau gangster a few years ago who told a court jury that he was not a gangster. Unfortunately, a major movie he had personally financed, showing his rise to gangster chief, was showing at the local cinema.

* * *

Country Garden, the Hong Kong property developer who failed to sell its flats at the weekend, reportedly offered a 12 percent discount to the public and a 17 percent discount to its own staff. Even staff are reluctant to buy them. This must make it very hard for sales staff.

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