Retailers respond to Moneybags’ grocery comparison

Following Moneybags’ grocery cost comparison, journalist Jessica Anne Wood contacted the retailers who were included in the comparison for their comments.

The findings of our comparison were as follows:

  1. Checkers – R446.02
  2. Spar – R490.07
  3. Makro – R526.40
  4. Pick n Pay – R566.09
  5. Woolworths – R619.56

Following a review of the comparison by the various stores involved, the general response was that a comparison such as the one conducted by Moneybags in not always accurate due to the variance in the products.

Checkers

The Shoprite Group, who own Checkers, said: “It is the Shoprite Group’s policy to negotiate toughly with suppliers – large or small – at all times for the lowest possible prices in the interest of our customers. With stringent cost control, managing shrinkage, constant price comparisons and clever sourcing Shoprite is continuously finding ways to keep prices lower for its customers, a promise that’s been kept for decades and that will continue in the current turbulent economy.”

Makro

Makro is owned by Massmart. In response to the comparison carried out by Moneybags, Massmart stated: “Meaningful price comparison requires the selection of identical brands and pack sizes, unfortunately this has not been achieved for 50% of the products that were reviewed. This raises questions about the comparability of the data.”

Pick n Pay

David North, group executive strategy and corporate affairs at Pick n Pay, responded: “Price comparisons like this often reach inaccurate conclusions because they fail to compare products of equivalent quality and size and because the sample size is too small to draw meaningful comparisons. Pick n Pay always seeks to offer the customer best value and we are very competitive on price. On top of this we offer BrandMatch, where the prices of 2000 items are compared against those in other supermarkets, and customers get the difference in price back if they could have bought them cheaper elsewhere.”

Spar

Mike Prentice, group merchandise executive at The Spar Group Ltd, highlighted that price comparisons are something that all retailers do and take very seriously. He pointed out that it requires “one to be extremely meticulous and have a fair degree of product knowledge.”

He noted that while Spar was happy with the results of the comparison, where they featured second in terms of price, there are some things that needed to be considered. For example, like for like products should be compared.

In the comparison, Moneybags did highlighted that it compared like for like products where possible, however, not all of the stores stocked the same brands and in those instances similar products were selected. This was acknowledged as a disadvantage of the comparison.

“As stated we conduct many and continual price surveys of the opposition, and whilst it would be easy to just bask in the result of being second cheapest (and substantially cheaper than the other two), it is only fair to state, that through our way more accurate and scientific survey process, it is very rare to find pricing differences of the magnitude that your survey shows,” added Prentice.

Woolworths was contacted, but had not provided feedback at the time of publication.

Moneybags will conduct further cost comparison articles in the coming weeks.

To see the original comparison, click here.