Big stores’ convenience shops in urban areas add £800 to year’s shopping bill, consumer group says
- Which? experts found Tesco and Sainsbury’s charge higher at their local stores
- The price discrepancy will hit those without cars who rely on convenience shops
- Read: Price of cheese products rises by up to 175% in just one year amid inflation
Shopping at urban convenience stores run by the big supermarkets could add more than £800 a year to the cost of putting food on table.
The warning comes from Which? whose experts found Tesco charges much higher prices at its Express convenience outlets than large supermarkets. It is the same with Sainsbury’s and its Local outlets, which can be significantly more expensive for essentials.
The price discrepancy will hit those without cars who struggle to do a weekly big shop at a larger supermarket or carry a number of bags on the bus, or those who cannot afford the delivery fees for online shopping.
The Which? research found that shoppers buying the same 75 items at Tesco Express would be spending an extra £15.73 on average a week than those shopping online or at a larger Tesco, adding up to £817.91 more over the course of a year.
Tesco charges much higher prices at its Express convenience outlets than large supermarkets
It is the same with Sainsbury’s and its Local outlets, which can be significantly more expensive for essentials
At Sainsbury’s, a survey across 69 big-selling items found they would typically cost an extra £9.19 a week at one of its Local outlets, an extra £477.93 over the year. At Tesco, the biggest price differential was on a bag of sweet potatoes, which was 37 per cent more. Mr Kipling Bakewell slices were 28 per cent more and a pack of two little gem lettuces 17 per cent more.
At Sainsbury’s its Local convenience stores charged 19 per cent more for Heinz Cream of Tomato soup and 18 per cent more for the brand’s Cream of Chicken. The supermarkets argue such prices reflect higher business rents and rates, but Which? said that will be of little comfort to shoppers.
The consumer group is campaigning for supermarkets to do more to support customers amid the cost of living crisis such as by offering a range of budget lines for essential items. It also wants them to make pricing clearer so deals can be easily identified.
Sue Davies of Which? said: ‘We’re calling on big supermarkets to ensure everyone has easy access to basic, affordable food lines.’
Sainsbury’s said: ‘Our Local stores are located in city or town centre locations and their operating costs are higher.’ Tesco did not wish to comment.
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