Sunday, 1 May 2011

Polish Supermarket Price Comparison

I've been otherwise pre-occupied, so sorry for the long delay in posting. I fear it may be an inevitable part of the non-winter period, but I'll try to write more.

For now, a simple message: Real hypermarkets are horrifically expensive: I would spend thousands of zloties there each year if I used them regularly.

There was a television report comparing supermarket prices, which spurred me to check my own shopping. I've been doing family weekly shopping for some 30 years or so, with 10 years of Polish experience. In Poland I have, of the large supermarkets, shopped in Tesco, Auchan, Carrefour, Real and Leclerc. However, I have always tended to use Tesco as the main shop, with others as an interesting alternative. I also use Lidl as a second shop to visit.

Living in Młochów, I primarily have the alternatives of Tesco and Lidl in Piastów, and Real in Janki, with Auchan (also with Lidl) in Piaseczno being only a very occasional option - it is more difficult to get to. Tesco and Lidl are standard routine.

There are many reasons to choose a supermarket, but price is an important factor. My impression was that Tesco was clearly much cheaper for my own shopping pattern, but I had never tried an objective comparison. Over the last two days, therefore, I produced a comparison.

The result?

A shopping list costing 444 zloties in Real, would cost only 380 zloties in Tesco. Real is a whopping 64 zloties (17%) more expensive. Visiting both Tesco and Lidl - there isn't one available close to Real - makes Real even worse. I would be spending 87 zloties (23%) more. If this was just 40 weeks in a year, Real would cost me an extra 3,500 zloties.

Even if there was a Real and Lidl combination, this would still be 42 zloties (11%) more expensive.

I thought I had pictures of storm clouds over the Real part of the Janki shopping centre, but I must have deleted them. I did see this in the entrance a couple of months back, however. That place is familiar.

My shopping list is not comprehensive, but with over 60 regular purchase items, I feel it reasonably reliable. They are all routine purchases, although not all bought each week. We all have our shopping peculiarities, with this list reflecting mine. (I may also have messed up the spreadsheet calculations, of course.)

Its a bit messy, but a download of the spreadsheet is available at Supermarket price comparison.xls. If nothing else, you will be able to see some of the secrets of my shopping habits.


TEFL SecretAgent said...

I have two small shops in my village and we must do 90% of our shopping in those and suprisingly, the prices are quite competitive with those of larger supermarkets in the city. For the rest, we go to Biedronka - Many people are a bit snobbish towards Biedronka but the quality isn't as bad as people make it out to be. For example, the seafood you can buy in larger Biedronka stores is much better than that sold in Alma or Auchan.

Pan Steeva said...

I'm an anti-snob snob. I would have added Biedronka to the comparison - it lies on the way back from Tesco - but I didn't have time. It's a smaller one than yours by the sound of it.