Friday, May 17, 2013

True Comparisons

We at Doris Italian Market & Bakery take a lot of pride in what we do.  We have many credos in our business and one of them is that "we want to make a living, not a killing".  Pricing our products is always heavily scrutinized by ourselves and as of  lately, many customers.  The meat industry has been experiencing major increases this year and it was predicted over a year ago from analysts.  The problem is that most consumers that feel the squeeze don't complain to the farms, factories or analysts.  They complain to the retailers.  For those who understand how retail works, retail prices are calculated based on an item's cost.  Now some companies work off a specific percentage while others work on another.  These numbers are determined many different ways but operating costs are a heavy influence.
Regardless, as a five store chain, Doris Italian Market & Bakery is constantly compared with the prices of major supermarkets like Publix and Winn-Dixie. Having five locations has given us at Doris Italian Market better buying power and have been able to purchase in quantities that allow for better pricing.  Case in point,
Boar's Head products sold in our stores are consistently cheaper than the supermarkets (non advertised items).  Our produce, which has developed a reputation of being of high quality has also been more affordable than the big chains.  How is this possible?  The supermarket chains buy in quantities far greater than us at Doris Italian Market and they have to be getting better pricing if not the same as we.  
Slowly, many conscientious shoppers are recognizing this trend and have began relying on local shops like us for more and more provisions.
Prices on beef & poultry have been rising steadily...
However, with the meat industry's (beef, poultry in particular) increasing prices, sticker shock is occurring in all grocery stores.  We can understand the consumer's frustration, for we too are experiencing these increases as well.  If our cost goes up, so must the retail price.  Let it be known that there are many items that we have marked up less just to try to keep the price more appealing so we are cutting profits to minimize the sticker shock.
Now, we have had a few consumers voice their opinion about our prices and we feel that some of these comments have been made with minimal information.  Now, while we are a five store chain, we have become competitive with supermarkets. We may not be the cheapest on every item but on May 12, 2013 (Mother's Day), we compiled a price comparison of beef, poultry, pork, veal, lamb items as well as lobster prices from a leading supermarket.  We were more affordable on a little over than half of the items listed. And there is a quality difference on some of these items. For example, we sell Sterling Silver Premium Beef which is a line of high level Choice graded beef.  The top 12% of beef is only used as Sterling Silver Premium Beef.  That means that some Sterling Silver Premium Beef is Prime.  
We sell Farmland Pork, which we feel is a superior quality than some of the pork that you can find in your leading supermarket.  With this said, there is not an equal balance of quality in these comparisons, and yet the price comparisons will surprise you.  
We tried to detail which items were on sale and for our column with two prices, we discounted the price for larger weight purchases (ie: 3lb or more price) Click image to view better.
I think it is safe to state that for a five store chain, our prices are pretty competitive as a whole with a multi-billion dollar supermarket chain.  We admire the supermarket chains for their success and we know that we cannot knock them out, but when their managers visit our stores and look around, (which they do), it tells us that we are doing something right.  We hope that for those who shop with us, you continue to do so and keep questioning what we do.  We love answering your questions and concerns.  There is nothing better than an educated consumer.

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  1. There is also no way to factor in the one on one handling of the order. For example, I buy 7-8 lbs of pork chops when they are on sale and the lovely meat dept is happy to freezer wrap them in groups of 3 which works for my family. The big boxes won't do that. That is real value and service to me . Well worth having an extra stop. I buy all my meat there and can even call in a special order the day before and have it waiting for me. BTW Richie the butcher in Hollywood is AWESOME! Even gives cooking tips and knows how this longtime customer likes the steaks cut!

  2. Thank you so much! You are right, there is added value to the full service aspect you receive coming to our stores.