Dollar General boasts best prices at shelf

BOSTON — For the second year in a row, Dollar General has topped Kantar Retail’s opening price point survey, narrowly beating out Walmart. 

“It’s clear that the low-income shopper has an array of credible options when it comes to selecting outlets that meet her basket requirements," stated Leon Nicholas, SVP Kantar Retail. "As more retailers try to engage with this shopper, it seems likely that the portfolio of options will grow along with the subsequent competition between retailers. Retailers who are able to provide both actual and perceived price leadership, in part through Opening Price Points, will win wallet share with this large shopper segment."

According to Kantar Retail, Dollar General’s total basket was the least expensive among retailers surveyed, edging out Walmart Supercenter’s basket by just 12 cents.

This represents a substantial closing of the gap in the survey conducted last year, when Dollar General’s basket of OPP items was 18% cheaper than Walmart’s. The edible grocery and HBA sub-baskets drove Dollar General’s basket lead over Walmart. And while Walmart’s basket came in a close second overall, it recorded the least expensive non-edible sub-basket by a sizable margin.

Conversely, Target’s total OPP basket was the most expensive, registering 48% more than Dollar General’s basket and 12% greater than the next highest-priced competitor, Aldi.

“Retailers’ use of temporary price cuts did not affect the overall outcome of our survey. For the most part, all the retailers in this study achieved their OPP positions through everyday pricing," Nicholas said. "Private labels, however, had a more significant impact than in previous iterations of this study, as the retailer with the least expensive sub-basket achieved that standing primarily through private labels in each case.”

The OPP survey, now in its third year, determines how select retailers meet the grocery and consumable needs of shoppers looking for the lowest shelf prices to fulfill their basket requirements.

In this year’s study, Kantar Retail selected 21 categories across the edible grocery, non-edible grocery and HBA segments. In a change from last year, Walgreens was left out of the study due to a lack of opening price point competitiveness in previous years; all other retailers from last year were included. All data was collected in the southern New Hampshire/northern Massachusetts area in October 2013. For each retailer, Kantar Retail assessed the lowest price point available to the shopper in that category, excluding trial sizes.

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