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Alan Hawkins

Professional journalist and communication consultant.

East London Accommodation


We might be heading into the holiday season with excitement, but tight budgets and high costs might drag our dreams down a notch or two when we pass through those supermarket check-outs.

Our latest supermarket price survey shows that Checkers is consistently the cheapest supermarket chain in the East London. We compared prices on a basket of 13 items and Checkers came in at R395.34 as compared to Woolworth’s in Vincent Park at R481.08, a premium of over 20%.

Spar in Beacon Bay, whose basket cost R413.34, moved up from third in our May survey, to second lowest this month. Their overall price going up by only 2,6% since the May survey – this was the lowest increase in the survey and Spar was the only store who succeeded in keeping pace with the published inflation rate.

Pick ‘n Pay increased their prices by 10% in the seven months. The value of their basket at R414.54 moved them into third place and approximately 5% more expensive than Checkers.

In our sample, the overall cost of our basket at Woolworths increased by a little over 20% in the seven months. The team found this to be quite significant as the average increase experienced in the other three stores was only 6%.

The majority of the contents of our basket are well known brands which are available in all the stores, the rest made up of fresh goods with varying origins. While acknowledging that there might be some discrepancies in a comparison of this nature, we do feel that the overall result offers a fair reflection of local price trends.   

This week’s CHILLI AWARD goes to Woolworths. If we reasonably assume that your buying team is as efficient as the others, the extent of the price increases border on the unreasonable.

Francois Du Plessis has asked us to give a big bowl of cherries to Melany Botes at NFB Insurance Brokers and Craig Smith from CellStyle for their professional assistance when dealing with his damaged cell phone a few weeks ago.  

Consumer inflation, South Africa