What we discovered when we surveyed prices in 6 different shops

While on work experience for RN and RE this week, we set out to investigate how different stores are pricing their products to attract the highest sales.

How are different stores pricing their products to attract the highest sales, profits, loyalty or rate of sale? While on work experience for RN and RE this week, Michelle Madlener and Ruby Tyler set out to investigate this question.

Pricing survey: our project

We visited three independent stores and three supermarkets’ convenience stores in Islington in north London to find out what they charge for 12 popular products, and asked local customers why they choose to shop at these stores.

We also asked two independent retailers how they communicate to customers that they offer great value in their stores.

Pricing survey: the data

 Sainsbury's LocalTesco ExpressCo-OpNisaBudgens of IslingtonGoswell News
Wrigley's Extra Sugarfree Peppermint65p45p69p60p50p65p
McVitie's Chocolate Digestives 300g£1.9£1.55£1.99£1.5£1.65£1.99
Heinz Beanz 415g85p79pN/A79p85p£1.29
Pint of milk49p49p52p70p60p55p
Mars Bar (standard size)50p80p79p70p75p75p
Cadbury Giant Buttons 80g65p60p79p£2.50 (119g)70p75p
Walkers Cheese & Onion 32.5g£1.80 (six pack)£1.59 (six pack)72p (2 for £1)70p65p£1.65
Coca-Cola 500ml£1.35 (on sale from £1.80)£1.25£1.59£1.4£1.39 (2 for £2)£1.3
Muller fruit Corner55p71p£170p85pN/A
Clover 500g£1.95£1.8£2.4N/A£2.2N/A
Bassets Jelly Babies£1 (on sale from £1.60)£1.5N/AN/A£1.86£1.99
Red Bull 250ml£4.45 (four pack)£1.19£1.49£1.5£1.19£1.5

Pricing survey: what we discovered

Sainsbury’s Local: Although Sainsbury’s wasn’t the cheapest store, it had the most offers, and also sold more products in bulk than the smaller convenience stores. Customers told us this makes them feel they are getting good value for their money.

Tesco Express: Tesco was the cheapest overall, charging the lowest price for the majority of our products, with confectionery in particular considerably cheaper than those in the other stores involved in the investigation.

Co-op: Co-op was generally the most expensive, with Clover Butter and Wrigley’s Extra Sugarfree Peppermint gum between 40p to 60p more expensive than other stores. However, it also had deals and promotions such as a 10% student discount.

Nisa: Although it was small, Nisa had a better range of drinks than the supermarkets we visited – we bought a guava drink there that we didn’t see anywhere else – and although its prices were slightly higher, it arguably offered higher value and quality.

Newsagent: This newsagent had a very wide range of products for such a small shop, and was selling many different crisps and chocolate bars. While it charged the highest prices, it was the busiest store we visited and had a relatively long queue.

Budgens: This was a high-end independent store, comparing to the supermarkets’ c-stores. After Tesco, it had the cheapest prices. A few customers told us it was the best for value and pricing, because it had great quality food for good prices.


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