Surprise!

Shoppers who do their weekly food shops at supermarket convenience stores pay £320 more a year than at big branches, a study by Which? found.

The consumer group tracked prices for an average basket of goods at Tesco Express and Sainsbury’s Local stores for five months and compared them to the prices for the same items at their bigger counterparts.

The Sainsbury’s shopper would have paid £6.18 extra a week equating to £322 a year, while the Tesco customer would have paid an additional £5.37 a week, or £279 a year.

Err, yes?

26 thoughts on “Surprise!”

  1. Shoppers who do their weekly food shops at supermarket convenience stores

    That all important non-existent demographic.

  2. Smaller stores with higher overheads, lower turnover and town centre locations need to charge more for items than big stores with big car parks… Who’da thunk it?

    “Shoppers who do their weekly food shops at supermarket convenience stores

    That all important non-existent demographic.”

    Oh, they do exist. E.g. people in small provincial towns with no access to a car or a fairly long drive to a proper supermarket. But they’re not a large demographic, that’s for sure…

  3. Also the small village Co-ops and NISAs are a lot more expensive than large tescos or Morrisons supermarkets.

  4. So Much For Subtlety

    The Sainsbury’s shopper would have paid £6.18 extra a week equating to £322 a year, while the Tesco customer would have paid an additional £5.37 a week, or £279 a year.

    It is interesting because it puts a price on convenience. I used to stop at a small Sainbury’s by the train station on the way home. I knew it was more expensive – and the selection was limited so a weekly shop was impossible.

    The question is how much was I willing to pay for that convenience. Not much as it turned out. I would have never done a weekly shop there. But for what I needed, it was worth it. As it is clearly worth it to millions of others.

    So where’s the beef? I am just amazed they provide so much convenience for such a small price. What is that – 3-5% of the cost of a weekly shop at most?

  5. Bloke in China (Germany province)

    You commenters are all missing the point that ITS NOT FAIR!!!! And it’s also probably institutionalised discrimanashun of some type.

    All food should be supplied at cost, and those costs should include only the raw material price of the foods. I propose a National Food Service as the solution to the monumental injustice of supermarket profiteering.

  6. But how much money are those people saving in both time and money from not having to drive/catch a bus/book a taxi to get to the large supermarket?

  7. The Mole, that would require more math than “get two numbers, divide on calculator, publish with bias” …

    We’re talking Journalists here…

  8. The Marx and Sparx at our railway station used to be a great convenience. I am delighted to be able to infer that it turned an honest penny for them.

  9. ShopPING!!! It’s shopPING!!!!! Learn how to make a bloody gerund. A “shop” is a built or virtual structure containing goods for purchase.

  10. But they’re not a large demographic, that’s for sure…

    Yup. Mostly old people without internet.
    If you’re willing to accept odd delivery times, big store priced shopping is available to your door for cheap.

    Also the small village Co-ops and NISAs are a lot more expensive than large tescos or Morrisons supermarkets.

    And a lot more expensive than small convenience stores in towns. Competition does exist in this sector. I’ve two Coops within easy walking distance that are essentially as cheap as the big Tesco, Asda and Aldi stores that are slightly less easy walking. The main price difference is because you can’t buy big-pack / multi-item stuff.

  11. @jgh

    https://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/shop

    As the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English makes clear, the noun “shop” can refer either to a building or part thereof where goods or services can be purchased, or a place where things are made or repaired (as in workshop), or (though it lists it as informal British English only) an occasion where you go shopping, particularly for food and other regular purchases. It is the latter sense that is being used here.

    “Shop” in this sense is not actually synonymous with “shopping”. “Weekly shopping” presumably covers everything you purchase over the course of a week whereas “weekly shop” refers to a specific occasion where you buy most of that week’s products but which might be supplemented by top-up trips. In fact the balance between people making big weekly shops and smaller more regular shops has been changing over time, including with the growth of online grocery shopping, and this has led to some shifts in supermarket strategies, more recently away from larger “hypermarket” style stores (an approach that was seen as outdated as the concept of the “weekly shop” declined) towards a network of convenience stores. See eg https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-29442383 or https://www.bbc.com/news/business-52441772

    Since the concept of the weekly shop is in decline and convenience stores are not in fact designed around the “weekly shop” concept (more likely that someone who is reliant on convenience stores – and these people do exist – split their shopping over several trips throughout the week rather than one big shop and a few small ones) it would probably make more sense to talk about their total expenditure over the course of a week/month rather than the “cost of their weekly shop”. But not because “weekly shop” doesn’t exist at all as a concept or the noun “shop” refers only to a building – in modern English it doesn’t.

    The Concise OED doesn’t seem to be online but checking my rather old dead-tree copy, it lists another meaning that Longman doesn’t – “matters concerning one’s work”. Longman does link out to the phrase “talk shop” but the OED is right that this isn’t the only place “shop” has this meaning. If it makes you feel any better, it does state that the meaning “an act of going shopping” is “informal”.

  12. @”RM”

    My copy of the Concise OED dates from the tail end of the previous century so “shop” as an “instance of going shopping” must predate 2005 by some way! Sadly, no citation dates. But Google N-gram viewer suggests it goes back a bit. For example a 1987 report “Save Our Shop: The Fall and Rise of the Small Co-operative Store : a Report” notes how the rise of freezers and convenience foods had led to the dominance of the “one-stop weekly shop” and discusses whether this led to failure of smaller independent stores in comparison to larger supermarkets. Very close to the topic we are discussing today. And the 1985 Mackeson Book of Averages notes “Two in ten men have no idea how much of the family income goes on food – even though four out of ten actually help with the weekly shop.” To my surprise “17 per cent positively enjoy it”.

  13. A problem using n-gram viewer or similar to track down “weekly shop” is that another meaning of “shop”, related to making and repairing, is the name of an American high school subject. From what I can tell, roughly what Brits call “design and technology” class these days. So “weekly shop” can crop up in a similar sense to “daily mathematics” or “twice-weekly French” and that seems to dominate the older instances of the “weekly shop” bigram.

  14. SMFS,

    “So where’s the beef? I am just amazed they provide so much convenience for such a small price. What is that – 3-5% of the cost of a weekly shop at most?”

    Especially when you consider what running a second car might be costing to get to the big store. If you’re working from home, getting non-perishables from Amazon, maybe it’s cheaper to give up the second car and pay more to use the Metro that you can walk to. £25/month is going to be less than tax, insurance and maintenance, let alone finance.

  15. Shoppers who do their weekly food shops at supermarket convenience stores pay £320 more a year

    1. Only 320 Pounds more? That’s not horrible. What is that, a week’s wage at the low end?

    2. People can do their week’s shopping in convenience stores over yonder? Over here, unless you subsist on chips, beer, and lottery tickets you’re not doing that in a convenience store.

  16. Have Which? done a survey to compare Lidl prices with Morrisons prices. They might find a price difference here to. I wonder if they would say that people who shop at Morrisons are paying too much too.

  17. Yes, shopping instead of doing a shop. “I was doing a shop” versus “I went shopping”. I was doing a poo versus I located a proper Christmas log into to innards of this local plumming system.

    Language also is being infantilised. I took a fucking dump.

  18. Since the verb is “to shop”, it’s hard to see what the argument is. It’s simply the associated noun. As in “the morning run” or “the afternoon walk”

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