A recent survey of their web sites leads us to speculate on where retailers see themselves: most plump for the present, but a few appear to favour the last century.
Trading Standards consider that measurement of quantities (other than draught beer and cider) should be in metric measures and that product descriptions can be in any measures you choose: metric, Imperial, US customary, Babylonian. Anything goes.
One of our readers has carried out a survey of descriptions of domestic refrigerators on sale by major national retail chains. This shows no agreement between them on the primary measurement unit for that vital feature – the volume of food that can be stored.
Retailers giving prominence to cubic feet for volume or capacity of fridges include:
It must be said, both provide information about capacity in litres in the small print on their web sites and give the dimensions of appliances in centimetres only.
Those using litres include:
House of Fraser
Test reports published in Which? also give the ‘usable volume’ in litres only.
Finally, Homebase gives equal prominence to capacity in litres and cubic feet.
It is likely that the situation for domestic freezers is equally confusing. Both make product comparison difficult, and illustrate the problems we all face due to the UK’s continuing measurement muddle.
Perhaps the biggest surprise is that there are any retailers sticking to old measures – 85 litres sounds so much larger than 3 cubic feet! Could inertia be to blame?