Supermarket survey flaws
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.