by Terry Parks, Merchandising Manager
Price comparisons are based on identical products. Since product availability varies from store to store, the number of identical products compared is shown in each shopping basket along the top of the illustration.
Just like most price-conscious shoppers, Co-op staff is always researching to see how our selection and prices stack up against the other grocers in town—but with a slightly different purpose.
Our goal is to regularly survey prices in our local marketplace to ensure that the Co-op continues to provide good value and competitive pricing for our shoppers.
Our price comparisons focus on identical products across a variety of departments.
With Whole Foods Market entering our community, we are even more committed to doing our pricing homework, and therefore we are in the process of a comprehensive pricing review for all areas of the Co-op. We believe this review will yield even more favorable values for many products in our stores.
For this survey, we compared our pricing with Haggen, Fred Meyer, Terra, Safeway, and (for wellness products) Super Supplements.
We are still competing favorably against low-price retailers Fred Meyer and Super Supplements
We are still competing favorably against low-price retailers Fred Meyer and Super Supplements, and are optimistic that we will gain even more ground on these competitors in 2016.
As compared to our 2015 survey, the overall price difference on wellness products between Super Supplements and the Co-op has remained steady. The same is true of the price difference on grocery items at Fred Meyer.
In the produce department, we gained significant ground and are now only 5.6 percent over the total basket cost at Fred Meyer, compared to 16 percent in 2015.
Safeway is a newcomer to our price comparison survey, and while they have fewer grocery items to compare (49 against an average of 87 for all competitors) they are certainly a competitor in the natural and organic product marketplace. Our grocery basket came in 6.9 percent higher, but produce was just about even.
We performed well against Haggen and Terra.
In 2015, the price gap between Haggen and the Co-op grew in our favor. In grocery, the Co-op now beats Haggen’s prices by 4.5 percent (compared to only 2 percent in 2015). Our produce prices continue to be about 10 percent lower than Haggen’s prices (similar in 2015). Our prices as compared to Terra were very good for both grocery and wellness (10 percent and 5 percent lower respectively).
The landscape for natural and organic products continues to get more and more crowded. This makes our work as a cooperative to sustain and build value for our member-owners even more important. We will continue to research and source products locally, regionally, and nationally in order to maximize the selection of quality goods that we are able to offer at an affordable price for all.