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Question about supermarket prices

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Am researching some background on food prices at different boston-area supermarkets (star, shaw's, stop&shop, bread&circus, etc.). Has anyone had the experience i did recently where an item at a back bay store was priced considerably more than at the branch in wellesley? Looking for feedback if you've had similar experience with varying prices...

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  1. I haven't noted this with supermarkets, but I have with places like Dunkin Donuts - the one at Sullivan Station is considerably more than the one at Broadway and McGrath Highway. But the Longwood Galleria one is absurdly priced! I think it's the same type of thing... I also notice that the grocery stores in MA (or the Boston area) seem to charge more in general than those of the same chain in Maine (where I grew up and have family) and Worcester (Where I went to school), so I guess it is feasible that they do it within the metro area as well.

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    1. re: Jaylea
      n
      Northshore gal

      I'm a little late to this thread but I do know that Stop and Shop, at least, has their stores grouped by market area - the higher the income area is, the higher the prices are. I have a family member who is an employee in the grocery dept.

    2. I thought there was a study that supermarkets in the poor sections charged more because their clients were less likely to be able to travel around for better deals. Don't know why Back Bay would be different from Wellesley tho.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Joanie

        In my experience, and I have lived in a few large cities, the city markets are usually more expensive that the outlying areas, but at the same time there are many more items, more registers, more display space, and more "back room" space in the outlying areas' stores too. I think the smaller selection, generally smaller per person purchase size, and higher rent per square foot are the primary reasons for the city stores being more expensive, but who knows?

      2. Recently I went to the Stop and Shop on Rt 9 in Natick. Cantelopes were $1.99 each.

        Later that day I ended up in the Stop and Shop 3 miles down the road in Framingham. Smaller cantelopes-$2.50 each!!!

        No rhyme or reason on that one!!!

        I think that only advertized prices are consistent.

        1. I don't know about the Backbay vs Wellesley but I would tend to agree with the real estate/sq. foot argument.

          Wellelsey retail is very frustrating for me. Roche Bros. is amazingly overpriced. It's best to buy sales items at Roches Bros which approach normal prices. Star Market has cheaper prices on most items like cereal, frozen, etc.. and cheap fish sales. Unfortunately the Star in Wellesley has really poor quality produce. They run out of meat and fish and can't resupply overnight because they are supplied by a truck once or twice a week. Stop&Shop has decent prices - it always pays to check the circulars. Their fish is poor and the meat is usually not choice and in family packs. Produce is OK. Bread and Circus is worth a visit to check the sales items for seafood and meat. Bulk items are available in Framingham and Newton. Bread and Circus is generally the most expensive operation in town and usually for no good reason other than the cache of carrying many organic items. It pays to add Trader Joe's to the mix for many items like milk, icecream, frozen fish, etc... Unfortunately food is much more expensive here than it was in Washington, DC or New Jersy where I've lived in the past few years. I'm not sure why frankly.