Sunday, May 18, 2008

May '08: the results

It's just over 3 months since the last Phnom Penh supermarket comparison. In the meantime there's much been said on inflation. So much so, that we warrant this a separate entry, later this week. Let's just concentrate what's available today.
In this comparison four supermarkets were compared, Lucky's being the market leader in size and Thai Huot the cheapest supermarket. Additionally brought into the comparison were survey newcomers Sydney, which claims to have the largest selection and BS supermarket, situated in it's own department store.

Table 1:Price level in comparison with minimum price

May '08 Ranking
Lucky's 109,6% 4
Sydney 107,6% 3
BS 103,7% 1
Thai Huot 104,5% 2

When comparing to the minimum available price in the 4 supermarkets, it's clear that both the BS supermarket and Thai Huot are much cheaper than their larger competitors. This is also obvious when prices are compared to the average price, where the findings are roughly the same.

Table 2.: Price level in comparison to average price

May '08 Ranking
Lucky's 102,5% 4
Sydney 100,8% 3
BS 96,7% 1
Thai Huot 97,9% 2

Strange these findings, especially considering that Lucky's is the market leader and on basis of it's turnover, it should be able to charge the cheapest prices; at least not being the most expensive. BS supermarket though is the smallest and should have the more expensive prices.
A possible explanation is that BS management fails to conclude that their market is achieving near to none turn over and that many of the prices are in fact out of date prices: these products have been waiting too long for customers and are costing the company in capital costs. Solution: just wait until these products are so cheap that they'll sell themselves? In the meantime go to BS for cheap Coca Cola, cooking oil, sweeteners and rice. Co-incidentally or not, all products which have been raised considerably during the past months.

Table 3.: Percentage of products with lowest price

May '08 Ranking
Lucky's 38,5% 3
Sydney 33,3% 4
BS 59,4% 2
Thai Huot 69,4% 1

Finally, a word of caution as always. The survey is not an absolute overview, it does however show trends. Lucky's is more expensive than the Thai Huot market. At the same time Lucky's also has much more choice. See table four for instance. Lucky's comparison is based on 65 products double that of BS.

Table 4.: Number of products on which the results are based

May '08
Lucky's 65
Sydney 57
BS 32
Thai Huot 49

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