ATLANTA — ATLANTA—Whether you’re shopping for ingredients that will go into your Thanksgiving meal, or you’ve already started buying Christmas gifts, you’ve no doubt noticed how drastically prices can vary from store to store.
Keen-eyed shoppers know the exact same item can cost anywhere from a few cents to a few dollars more depending on the store you choose. Prices will be different at two stores located right next door to one another.
The price you pay for a particular item is a combination of the price the store paid for it, plus whatever markup the store has to add to make a profit. The store has to consider the cost to stock the item, the marketing involved to help sell it, and the money they’ll need to pay the staff that helps you buy it.
Different stores have different contracts with suppliers and that varies the cost they pay. It all depends on what they can negotiate.
According to the Georgia Retail Association, stores that buy larger volumes of product can typically get them for cheaper prices, so the price you pay is typically lower.
That doesn’t really explain why you can find two stores with the exact same name, located in the same zip code selling the same product for different prices.
One of those stores could be right across the street from a competitor. The owner of that store might cut the cost of certain items to lure them away from his rival across the street. Some retailers will even take a loss on certain items to undercut a competitor by 10 or 20 cents. The hope is that customers will buy other items to make up for the loss.