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Which of the major chains gives you best value for money?

BRAND ACTIVITY

Issued by Red Gecko (Pty) Ltd on behalf of Retail Price Watch - Apr 6th 2016, 15:12

The rise in the price of consumer goods has sparked much debate as to which chains give you best value for money. The answer is surprising – and emphasises the need for consumers to shop wisely for individual items.

A study undertaken by the consumer website www.retailpricewatch.co.za, of the pricing of 50 national brands in Spar, Pick n Pay and Checkers stores around the country, since January 2012, shows very little pricing difference between the three chains.

“In January 2012 a basket of 50 identical grocery items cost R1033 in Spar, R1036 in Checkers and R1058 in Pick n Pay - a differential between Spar as the cheapest and Pick n Pay as the most expensive of only 2.4%” says Viccy Baker of Retail Price Watch.

“By January 2015 the same basket cost R1120 in Pick n Pay, R1214 in Checkers and R1237 in Spar. Pick n Pay came in cheaper but the difference between the three stores remains marginal at 3.1%.

“By January 2016 the basket was the least expensive (R1281) at Checkers, R1316 at Pick n Pay and R1351 at Spar, with the differential widening to 5.4%.

“At the moment Spar’s prices for the 50 goods are the highest but the data suggests that the chains pricing fluctuates over time and that one should never assume there is a single “best value for money” store.”

The fact that the rate of inflation for these 50 products has ticked up alarmingly in the past year especially in Spar and Pick n Pay does not bode well for consumer prices this year.

Checkers average inflation rate was 5.44% for the 3 years prior to 2015. In 2015, it was 5.53% for the basket.

Spar’s basket average inflation rate was 6.2% for the same three years, rising to 9.17% in 2015.
Pick n Pay’s basket average inflation rate was 4.28 for the three years prior, while in 2016 it was 9.68%.

Baker emphasises that the chains compensate for the lower margins on the advertised “specials” which are used to draw people into the stores, by improving their margins on other goods.

“It is a case of “consumers beware” as often today larger packs or quantities of items come in at a higher price per kg than smaller packs, for example.

“The website, easily accessible on a smartphone, provides comparative prices at stores in your area as well as the price per kg of various pack sizes.”  

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