In a recent 702 radio interview regarding its latest financial results, Shoprite CEO Pieter Engelbrecht claimed that the chain “knows we are the cheapest”.
The website Retail Price Watch, the consumer price watchdog, decided to test this claim by looking at the average price of a basket of ten national brands (brands stocked by all stores) across Shoprite, Checkers (both members of the Shoprite Group), Pick n Pay, Spar and Makro in stores around the country.
The website also tracked price changes of those brands between February 2017 and February 2018.
Makro’s basket was in fact by far the cheapest at R176, some R17 below that of Shoprite and Checkers, which came in joint second at R194, with Spar’s basket costing R201 and Pick n Pay’s R203.
In 2017 Makro was also the cheapest by R17, with Pick n Pay and Shoprite and Checkers all within R3 of each other.
“Consumers should make up their own minds as to whether this small basket is representative of the whole. At the very least it means they should be circumspect while shopping and not believe all retailers’ claims,” says Viccy Baker of Retail Price Watch.
“Interestingly, although Shoprite is supposed to be selling to lower middle income consumers and Checkers to high-end consumers (“We are chasing the same consumers as Woolworths”), there was less than 50c difference in the price of their baskets.“
Baker commended Shoprite for selling 600g brown bread at R4.99 a loaf, R2 hotdogs and R4.99 hot chips in some stores, which were also mentioned by Engelbrecht, who said that the group was selling “sub–R5 deli meals.
““Nevertheless it might be more helpful to hungry South Africans if Shoprite subsidised more nutritious basic foodstuffs such as eggs or frozen chicken.”
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Issued by Viccy BakerRetail Price Watch