Retail: The punter’s dilemma - walk a mile, or spend 14p more on your Rice Krispies


Why does one tin of supermarket salmon cost more than an identical tin in a different branch? That’s what New York shoppers have been asking this week after it emerged a branch of the Fairway Market in the Upper East Side was charging $6.99 (£4.50) for a tin of salmon, 70 per cent more than the branch off Broadway, a mile away. Understandably, shoppers aren’t impressed. “I feel cheated,” one East Side resident, Charles Taylor, told the New York Post.

It is the same story here? A quick check near The Independent’s office shows a Tesco Superstore in west London will charge you £2.79 for a box of Kellogg’s Rice Krispies but a Tesco Metro half a mile away will charge you 14p more. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, according to a survey for the Grocer magazine. It found a sample basket at Tesco Metro would on average be 11.2 per cent more expensive than at a Tesco Superstore. Other chains did equally as badly. A Tesco spokesman says: “The smaller stores are normally in urban areas and high streets so are more expensive to run.” Its superstores have the same prices nationwide, he adds.

That’s true but the supermarkets haven’t earned our trust yet. If you are shopping for a bargain, expect to have to pound the pavement in search of the best deals. 

Additional research by Beren Cross