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Is this really the ‘Cheapest Grocery Store’ in SA?

Here’s why these results of finding Cheapest Grocery Stores in SA need to be taken with a pinch of salt.

Compiled from data collected by The Outlier, Businesstech and various  other sources, the store with the highly arguable title of being the “Cheapest Retailer” in South Africa really surprised us, since we are sure most South Africans haven’t even heard of that store before.

This is a case of the “Cheapest” literally being THE OUTLIER. These type of lists do not take into account that the two “chepest retailers” Makro & Kit Kat are esentially wholesalers, few and very far apart, located in outlying industrial parks,
For the average South African they are inaccessible. The transport cost of going to buy only that specific basket from those “cheapest retail stores” can completely destroy any percieved saving.

Perhaps not the main reason, but a good part of why Spaza Shops have existed since the 1970’s is because of the fact that ttransport costs from Black & Coloured areas to cheaper supermarkets made getting essentials difficult.
With apartheid era spatial planning still very much in place we have since the 1990’s seen a move from major retailers like Shoprite and Boxer, even Pick n Pay and Spar, moving into townships.

The point however remains that Makro & Kit Kat are essentially wholesalers and are not supermarkets. To crown it all, the ‘winner’ Kit Kat according to their website only has 4 stores; two in Pretoria, one in Benoni and one in Kliptown, Soweto. Soweto is Huge! Even for most people in Soweto, there is a cost involved in getting to a Kit Kat Cash and Carry.

For anyone on the Cape Flats, where I am located, aside from me never having heard of Kit Kat Cash & Carry before today; Reaching a Makro Wholesaler near me would totally demolish the ‘saving’ on a “basket of essentials”. There is no such thing as a Makro in short walking distance for the poorest of the poor who supposedly can benefit from the percieved ‘savings’ on the Basic Food Basket.

The simplest answer when having to make a choice between stores to either fill the basket of essentials or to do your entire monthly grocery shopping is to see if the calculated savings can offset your added transport cost if the cheaper store is further away than the more expensive ones.



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Written by Ryan Swano

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