What Price Convenience
As consumers we would all like to know how much extra we are charged for the convenience of shopping at our local small format stores.
ESA Retail partnered with Convenience Store Magazine to research how much extra multiple grocery retailers charge for common items in their small stores. For each of four selected retailers we scraped prices from grocery websites (and in the case of Co-Op from a supermarket in store collection) and carried out in- store price and promotion collections in their small store formats using our ESA Mobile smartphone data collection app which allows accurate, fast and reliable in store data capture.
We selected 500 products covering a broad range of categories and a mix of branded and own label products. The retailers covered were Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Co-Op and Waitrose and data collection took place between 13th -17th February 2017.
What we found
All four retailers charged a premium of between 4.5% and 7.5%, by either setting higher base prices or by offering a reduced number of promotions in their convenience formats.
The total average ‘price of convenience’ across all four retailers was 5.7%.
The cost of convenience was highest in Sainsbury’s, where customers in Sainsbury’s Local would have paid 7.3% more on average than customers shopping on Sainsbury’s.com.
Sainsbury’s also sold a lower proportion of products on promotion in their convenience store formats, when compared with their websites.
Customers shopping in Co - Op Convenience store would have paid 5.6% more on average than customers shopping at a Co-Op Supermarket.
Although a premium was charged on isolated products and categories, in general the majority of Co-Op products were sold at the same price in Supermarket and Convenience formats.
Customers shopping in Tesco Express would have paid 5.4% more on average than customers shopping on Tesco.com.
Tesco sold a lower proportion of products on promotion in their convenience store formats, when compared with their websites.
The cost of convenience at Waitrose was the lowest where customers would have paid 4.7% more on average than customers shopping at Waitrose.com.
Waitrose sold a lower proportion of products on promotion on their website than their convenience store.
Which categories were charged at the greatest premium?
On average, the greatest premium was found across Beers, Wines & Spirits (BWS), where convenience store prices were on average 8.0% higher than their online/main store equivalents.
Milk price comparison across all four retailers
From all four retailers, only Waitrose priced its chilled milk products consistently between its website and convenience store.
- Tesco semi- Skimmed milk 1.13 litre sold at 75p online and 80p at Tesco Express
- Sainsbury’s British semi skimmed milk 1.13 litres sold at 75p online and 85p at Sainsbury’s local.
- Co-op Fresh semi skimmed milk1.13 litres sold at 89p in both Co-op supermarket and its convenience store.
- Essential Waitrose semi – skimmed milk 1.13 litres sold at 89p at both little Waitrose and online.
For more information about ESA Retail’s price collection and other in store services, please contact Umaira.Nawaz@esa-retail.co.ukBack to News