Analyst: Local grocers deflate prices to win customers

Analyst: Local grocers deflate prices to win customers (File Photo)

ROCHESTER --- Four months ago, Wegmans announced that it was slashing prices on about 40 grocery items.

Amanda Murphy says when she pays attention, she notices the price difference.

“Sometimes, I do notice a price difference, but sometimes I can’t really tell,” Murphy said. “I’m so used to getting the usual stuff and going from there.”

Analysts say stores like Wegmans, Tops Markets, and bulk retailers like Costco are lowering their prices to draw you in. That means retailers are willing to lose profit as a result.

“We can invest in lower prices and take a little less on profits,” said Jo Natale, Vice President of Media Relations for Wegmans. “We want to remain true to our commitment to have the lowest price on the items that families use the most.”

According to research conducted by the Department of Agriculture, families spent 1.3% less on groceries in 2016 than in 2015. Deflation is welcome to shopper Susan Pazda, but the thought did not sway her to one supermarket or another.

“Some prices are lower, some are comparable, some are higher,” Pazda said. “It depends on the part of the store. If I had other stores nearby, I would comparatively shop.”

Analysts believe grocery stores will likely try to sell items in larger quantities to make up for lost revenue. With a family to feed, Jeffrey Hurley says it’s give and take.

“It’s a competition for them, but it does work out for the consumer,” Hurley said.

13WHAM reached out to Tops Markets for comment. In a statement, they released the following:

“We stay competitive by continuing to save our customers money. We continue to have the best deals in town every day on the items and brands our customers want the most. In addition, we provide them with many more ways to save even more for their family like with TOPS GasPoints, e-Coupons, savings on diapers with our Diaper Club, and even by giving away free fish fry's this Lenten season.”

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