Small Grocers Outdo Chains

Jun 20, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson

According to the Roslindale Transcript, smaller chains and independents
in its area, such as Roche Bros. and Village Market, offer lower prices and
better service than larger supermarkets, such as Shaw’s and Stop & Shop.

The paper shopped for popular items and found the two smaller stores had the
lowest prices on five items, Shaw’s had lowest prices on four and Stop &
Shop had two items priced better than the competition. There was a $2 spread
between the lowest (Roche Bros.) and highest priced (Stop & Shop) baskets.

The items on the Transcript’s shopping list included:

  1. A gallon of whole Hood milk

  2. A dozen white extra-large eggs

  3. A loaf of Wonder Bread

  4. A 2-quart bottle of Tropicana Orange Juice

  5. A 5-pound bag of Idaho potatoes

  6. Vine-ripe tomatoes

  7. Land O’ Lakes whipped butter

  8. A 5-pound bag of bleached, enriched flour

  9. A big bag of Doritos

  10. A 2-liter bottle of Pepsi

  11. A package of Oscar Mayer wieners

  12. 80 percent lean ground beef.

Price isn’t the only difference, says Roche Bros. store manager Arthur Ackles.
“We have three attributes that we feel gives us the competitive edge: service,
cleanliness and quality.” The Roche Bros. store, reports the paper, is one of
the few in the area where employees will take a shopper’s groceries out to their

Moderator’s Comment: Can stores offer the type of service
offered by Roche Bros., such as taking groceries out to the car, and remain
price competitive? How can stores determine the correct items and number of
products to discount to establish their price competitiveness in the minds of
Anderson – Moderator

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