I am always telling my mom that Spar is so expensive. Compared to other retail chains in South Africa Spar, on average, is the least concerned with beating consumer prices.
A recent survey conducted by the independent consumer website Retail Price Watch compared the various South african retail chains and their prices of various goods – and proved just that.
The chains were Cambridge Foods (not in the Western Cape), Checkers, Makro, Pick n Pay, Shoprite, Spar and Woolworths – and the categories of prices looked at baking ingredients, beverages, cereals and porridge, and staples.
Unfortunately, no store can claim to be the cheapest in every category. Thanks to BusinessTech here are the graphs of each, with the red number correlating to the highest costing:
Where are the vegetables and meat comparisons? I guess those are dependent on the store and access to the products…who knows.
Viccy Baker of Retail Price Watch divulged some information she has gathered from her studies:
No store can claim to be the cheapest across all categories. Consumers should not believe that lots of ‘Specials’ mean the store has the best prices for everything.
When adding together all 20 items in the different categories, Cambridge Foods is the overall winner, with Spar the most expensive. However, there is less than 11% difference between the cost of the identical basket in Cambridge Foods and Spar.
There is only R3 difference between the prices of the same goods in Shoprite, Checkers and Woolworths, for example.
That R3 goes a long way, though, especially when buying more than one product with that price difference.
Here are the stores in all their glory, comparing the price of the same basket of items:
But Baker has more on the subject. She noted that stores keep an eye on their competitors and alter their own prices every week or so – sometimes even on a daily basis:
Unfortunately today it is all about the stores manipulating their statistics on consumer behaviour to extract the last cent rather than simply ensuring that shoppers consistently get the best value for money.
My research sees prices moving up and downwards by as much as 50% in a single week.
I mean, it’s quite heartbreaking to have your favourite shop play such games with you. I guess being a special-only shopper has its advantages.
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