SA Supermarket prices


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You wouldn't know it in Adelaide, but our Victorian neighbours are being whipped up in a shopping revolution.

In the week since US wholesale giant Costco opened its doors in Melbourne, tens of thousands of eager shoppers duly paid the 60 dollar membership in order to bag a bargain.

Costco's general manager Patrick Noone:
"We've had people from Adelaide join up, in fact there’s a couple here on opening day that had driven all the way from Adelaide to do their shopping here and we've had people from Sydney who flew down here."

With such demand from interstate Costco is wasting no time considering plans for more stores, but here's the bad news, Adelaide is not on the radar for a couple of years at least.

Marketing expert Barry Urqhart says there are two reasons Costco will hold back from expanding into S.A. - our restrictive trading hours and the perception that Adelaide is too small a market.

“The research will show you if you open up trading hours retail turnover increases somewhere between 3 and 4% so people will spend if people have the opportunity.”

However not everyone is convinced our tightly contested retail sector can handle more competition according to John Brownsea from the State Retailers Association.
"Let's face it Aldi haven't come here as a grocery retailer and it's the same sort of thing, the size our market is not sufficiently large and that's not a negative for S.A. we're not really missing out on anything our prices are as good as anywhere else"

Or are they? We've compared shopping prices in Melbourne to those in Adelaide: Coles, Woolworths and Costco.

  1. Huggies toddler nappies.
    At Coles and Woolies in Melbourne $19, in Adelaide $20.99. Costco's price: $14.50. Adelaide pays $6.40 more

  2. Herbal essence conditioner.
    At Coles in Melbourne, $6 in Adelaide $7.20. Costco in Melbourne $4:99. That's $2.21 more in Adelaide.

  3. Twinings English Breakfast tea bags -
    In Melbourne $8.85 at Coles. In Adelaide $9.35. Costco in Melbourne $6.33. So in Adelaide you're paying an extra $3.00

  4. Finish Rinse Aid
    Woolies in Melbourne. $7.61 in Adelaide $8.60. Costco $6.63. Once again adelaide pays more - nearly $2 more

  5. Heinz big red tomato soup
    In Melbourne Woolies and Coles charged $1.76. In Adelaide the same stores charged $1.91, but at Costco - it's just $1.25. That's an extra 66 cents in Adelaide

On a positive note, a few grocery items were cheaper in S.A. than Victoria but not many. Unfortunately the real cost is revealed in the overall basket. Prices in Melbourne Coles and Woolies averaged: $103.56. In Adelaide: $107.14.

Adelaide pays nearly 4 dollars more or about 2% a week.

But factor in Costco and the results are shocking.. The basket that cost $107 at Coles and Woolies in Adelaide cost just $82.11 at Costco - 25% less.
It's estimated that Costco can save shoppers around fifty dollars a week - that's a stunning $2600 a year.

However don’t rush out and grab your passport yet, it could be at least 2 years before we cash in on the savings at an Aldi or a Costco.