Su­per­mar­ket sur­vey flaws

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION -

I write re­gard­ing the su­per­mar­ket shop­ping com­par­i­son (Au­gust 6).

I am the store owner-op­er­a­tor at Porirua New World and price com­par­i­son is an ev­ery­day re­al­ity for my team. Done cor­rectly it is fair and ex­act.

It seems that not a lot of thought went into the tech­ni­cal side of the price com­par­i­son.

The key to all good ex­per­i­ments is that you need to com­pare the same prod­ucts and the rules need to be the same for ev­ery store. Not in­clud­ing spe­cials would also make it an even play­ing field.

In­clud­ing Four Square was not a fair com­par­i­son, be­cause it is a con­ve­nience store and not all of prod­ucts on the list are avail­able in the store.

Chang­ing the list of test prod­ucts be­cause they are not avail­able and sub­sti­tut­ing items is bizarre and is in no way com­par­ing like for like. There­fore this is not a true price com­par­i­son.

I have an is­sue with what you call ev­ery­day shop­ping items. I agree with milk, but­ter, bread and toi­let pa­per, as they are es­sen­tial ev­ery­day items. How­ever, choco­late blocks and a six-pack of pre­mium beer are lux­ury items.

Even when on spe­cial at Porirua New World, the pre­mium beer would be lucky to sell a hand­ful of packs from more than 14,000 weekly shop­pers who visit our store.

To com­pare items on spe­cial against the same items in ad­ja­cent stores not on spe­cial is in my opin­ion mis­chievous, par­tic­u­larly when there is an equiv­a­lent item on spe­cial.

As an ex­am­ple, the sur­vey shows Pak’nSave and Count­down sell­ing 900gm cheese on spe­cial at $8.94 and $9.99 re­spec­tively, whereas our store had an al­ter­nate 1kg prod­uct on sale at $8.99. This was also the case with the com­par­i­son of toi­let pa­per and Mon­tei­ths beer.

The 2.5kg pota­toes se­lected have been on Price Freeze by all New World stores na­tion­ally for a num­ber of weeks at $4.99. How­ever, the re­porter in­di­cated a price of $5.99.

If you are go­ing to do th­ese types of com­par­isons, and I do wel­come them, let’s put some thought into the tech­ni­cal side of the ex­per­i­ment so it is a fair and even com­par­i­son and we get fair re­sults that are ben­e­fi­cial for all par­ties con­cerned, which in­cludes our cus­tomers.

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