A Wegman's Case Study on Price Comparison
For those of you not in the Boston area, something big happened here a couple weeks ago…a Wegman’s opened. If you grew up with a Wegman’s around, you know it’s a special grocery store. For those of you are saying, “What on earth is a Wegman’s?!”, picture it as a Whole Foods meets everyday grocery store meets Costco. Wegman’s has a tremendous and broad assortment, a huge prepared foods aisle, some bulk items, and a large selection of beer and wine, all at prices that don’t break the bank.
Now, you’re probably wondering why we are getting so jazzed about a new Wegman’s. Though we are excited to welcome the new grocery store to our hood, what we are more excited about is the conversations it’s starting within the world of retail. We always love a good controversy!
Wegman’s displays its prices around the store (like most stores) but they also display their competitors prices as well…right next to their own prices. This side-by-side price comparison has started a retail ethics debate: should in-store price comparison be allowed? Is Wegman’s throwing other stores under the bus? Or are they just providing their customer with readily available information? Where do you stand?
As I’m sure you could guess, we side with Team Wegman’s. Wegman’s is providing their customers with information that is readily available in multiple locations – this info can be found in grocery store flyers, online, even by walking through other grocery stores! As long as the pricing information they are presenting to the customer is true, we think there is nothing wrong with their signage. After all, an educated consumer is the best consumer.
This brings us around to the concept of transparency. Retail Concepts is a strong believer in transparency between stores and consumers. Customers should get the information they want without having to dig for it. After all, what could be so bad that a retailer needs to hide something from their customer? If you have any answer to that question, we suggest you take a step back and think bigger picture for a hot second.
We now ask, what do you think? Do you think this whole debate is stemming from people that are scared of showrooming? It could very well be but (there’s always a but!) we would ask you WHY they are so scared of showrooming. If you have a personable, informative staff, unique products, a great assortment, and a price-point that fits your target market, what is there to be scared of? If people are walking into your store and leaving, we think it’s time to stop pointing fingers and to really dig in to WHY they are leaving. Can they find the same product elsewhere? Is your customer service lackluster? Are products difficult to find in store? Why is your customer leaving empty-handed?
See? Price comparison via signage just opened a whole can of worms and we really do want to know what YOU think. C’mon now, don’t be shy! Let’s hear it.