Monday, November 23, 2009

Is there a supermarket price war?

FairwayImage by roboppy via Flickr

There's a lot to digest in the full-page ad from Fairway Market in Paramus that ran in The Record on Friday. "We've slashed our prices and you save up to 30% on over 12,000 grocery items."

But there's a couple of caveats: Only items in Aisles 7-11 are covered and the sale, which started Friday, ends Dec. 31. The ad also contains a coupon giving you $10 off a purchase of $75, good until Dec. 6.

The ad says you'll save 30% off  "our already every day low prices." But if the sale is limited to Aisles 7-11, I don't believe you'll find any deals on Murray's free-roaming chicken or fresh-ground coffee -- two of the items I usually buy there.

Also, there is a note of desperation in this ad. Has this small, New York-based supermarket chain that is so full of itself found the North Jersey market too tough to crack?

It delayed opening a North Jersey store for several years, fearing it couldn't compete with ShopRite, acknowledged by many as the low-price leader. But that assumed all food shoppers judged their stores by price alone, ignoring consumers who want a wide variety of drug-free meat and poultry, organic produce and dairy products, and conventional produce that doesn't rot on your counter overnight.

By the time Fairway opened this year, it had to contend with a new Whole Foods Market in Paramus -- with a far better selection of healthy meat and poultry. And ShopRite stores offered more organic food.

And you can't discount the location of the Fairway Market, in the unfashionable Fashion Center on Route 17. I hadn't been there for years. The rent must have been terrific and the landlord must have made many concessions to lure Fairway there, putting over a fast one on the arrogant owners, who claim, "Enter Fairway once, you'll be hooked for life." The Glickbergs may be the only ones who are hooked.

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  1. Great article, I wish Howie Glickberg would read it but I bet he won't and continue to be a pompous egomaniac whos nose is too high.

  2. Yeah, he reminds me of Stephen Borg, who took over The Record from his father and is spending money on himself like he's printing it. What is it about these sons of wealthy businesspeople who think they are so smart and that the world should listen to them?

  3. I think these folks think the entire world should treat them the way their wealthy parents treated them. They think the world owes them something and that they are better than others.


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