Superstores’ mini branch mark-ups are revealed

Mail Online

Last updated at 10:31 PM on 13th November 2010

An investigation by Financial Mail has revealed that the three supermarkets at the forefront of the ministore invasion of High Streets habitually sell products at premium prices, even as they promise to lower them in their main stores.

The standard premium at Tesco was about four per cent while at Sainsbury’s it was between five and ten per cent. Marks & Spencer Simply Food stores visited in central London were also more expensive by a similar amount.

Bisto Gravy Granules on sale at a Sainsbury’s Local in Earlsfield, south-west London, were £1.05, compared with 95p in a main store, a difference of 10.5 per cent. Bulmers Pear Cider at a nearby branch in Clapham Junction was £1.94, whereas it was £1.81 at a main store, a premium of seven per cent. Similarly, at one of the Marks & Spencer Simply Food outlets, a bottle of Vintage Oudinot Brut Champagne 2004 priced at £30 compares with £27 at a main store.

However, Financial Mail uncovered a number of instances where the variation was much greater.
We bought three bananas at a Sainbury’s Local at 18p each, or 54p for 580 grams. That compares with one kilogram of bananas on sale for 55p at its main store, a premium of 69 per cent at the Local shop.

Buying fruit and vegetables at Tesco Express is pricey. Loose lemons were 31p each, compared with 25p at a main store, a premium of 15 per cent…

The cost of convenience: The comparative price of goods sold in main stores and smaller stores