In what sources said was a signal of intensifying price competition in the Northeast, ShopRite stores have introduced an everyday low price program as part of its offering.
The program, the “Right Price Promise,” rolled out to ShopRite stores Oct. 6, a spokeswoman for Wakefern, the Keasbey, N.J.-based cooperative which operates the ShopRite stores along with independent member-owners.
ShopRite, known for its heavy promotional pricing, said the program gives shoppers confidence to buy frequently purchased items without having to wait for sales. Items currently in the program include apples, shredded cheese, sugar, flour and chicken nuggets. ShopRite stores intend to add more items to the program “every few weeks for the next year,” spokeswoman Karen O’Shea told WGB.
“By moving to everyday value pricing on key items, our customers can count on ShopRite as their one-stop shopping destination,” she said.
One source, who asked not to be identified, said the addition of “Right Price Promise” items featuring lower everyday prices acknowledges potential influence from fast-growing discounters in its Northeast markets, but described the program as an offensive rather than defensive action by ShopRite. The brand maintains top market shares in many of the markets where its members operate stores but until now got there nearly entirely on the strength of promotional programs. Front-page sales flyers for the chain this week still lead with promotions but now also include a section highlighting items with prices that have been taken down across the store.
“It’s a reaffirmation of their strong price image, and making it sure it stays intact vs. companies Aldi and Lidl that have come into its markets, and even Stop & Shop getting more aggressive,” the source told WGB. “From what I’ve heard, the initial reaction has been pretty good.”
Discounters such as Aldi and Lidl have rapidly expanded their presence in ShopRite’s markets, and Walmart is also gaining share in grocery. All three utilize everyday low pricing, supplemented with promotions.
Items featured in this week’s current ad of Right Price Promise items include varieties of Perdue breaded chicken nuggets at $2.99 for 12 ounces; 1-pound packages of Land O Lakes butter at $4.49; tomatoes on the vine at $1.49 per pound; and ShopRite brand items including 4-pound sugar priced at $1.74 and 8-ounce shredded cheese at $1.77. Other items with lower everyday prices are featured on ShopRite’s website and are noted with signage in-stores. It is not immediately apparent as to the severity of the cuts but they would appear to bring prices in line with or cheaper than published prices for similar items at area Walmart stores.
It was also not immediately clear how ShopRite intended to fund the lower prices, although such investments typically involve vendor renegotiations and slightly lower margins on the included items.
This story was updated Oct. 21 with remarks from the company.