A new survey claims there are savings of more than 350% online when compared to supermarket prices. A range of online products - from DVDs to electrical goods - were compared with prices bricks-and-mortar supermarkets and stores typically charge UK consumers.
Zavvi.com and Amazon came out strongly overall. But Sainsbury's, Comet and Argos disappointed.
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For example, Blu-ray High School Musical 3: Senior Year
cost £2.99 on website Zavvi.com but Sainsbury's charges £14 – more than 350% per cent higher. White goods are cheaper online too. A Hotpoint double electric cooker offered for £364 at website Appliances.co.uk cost £500 at Argos, £136 pricier.
A Zanussi dishwasher cost £330 at a Comet store but the survey, conducted by TalkTalk and researchers at the Centre for Economics and Business Research, found the same model - a ZDF2020 - could be had for £237 at website Appliances.co.uk.
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"In clothing," said the survey, "a Nike Golf Tech Swoosh cap can set you back £11.99 at one high street retailer but is a snip at just £5.30 online. In beauty and cosmetics a pack of Garnier Skin Naturals Simply Essential Facial Cleansing Wipes costs £2.99 at one well-known pharmacy but for just £1.80 online."
Not representative - Sainsbury's
However players like Sainsbury's argue such surveys are a snap-shot, and not representative of their pricing across the board. "We sell a wide variety of entertainment products," said press spokesperson Tom Parker, "and are committed to offering our customers great value. We also ensure our customers get great deals on the big releases."
Parker said that the film Hop
on DVD is £3 at Sainsbury's but £4.81 at Play. "Also The Vow
DVD + Ultraviolet
is £5 at Sainsbury's whereas it is £7.99 at Play," Parker said.
Shehan Mohamed, economist at Cebr, points out that although annual inflation might be decreasing, it continues to remain higher than wage growth at 1.8% year-on-year – less than half the pre- financial crisis average of 4.0%. Which means, in reality, household budgets will be squeezed going into the second half of this year.
"With online prices lower than a year ago, switching to internet retail offers one way for households to get round this squeeze on spending power."
It's not the first time the supermarkets have been found to be over-priced, witness a Which? survey
earlier this year slammed supermarkets so-called multi-buy "offers".
- 1. Walmart
Wal-Mart Stores, or Walmart, is an American retailer that runs chains of discount department and warehouse stores around the world.</p>
The company was founded by Sam Walton in 1962, incorporated on October 31, 1969, and first traded on the New York Stock Exchange in 1972. It is headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas and has around 8,500 stores in 15 countries, under 55 different names.</p>
- 2. Royal Dutch Shell
Royal Dutch Shell, more commonly known as Shell, is a global oil and gas company headquartered in Holland, but with its registered office in London.</p>
With operations in more than 90 countries, it is active in every area of the oil and gas industry, including exploration and production, refining, petrochemicals, power generation and trading.</p>
- 3. ExxonMobil
Exxon Mobil Corporation, or ExxonMobil, is an American oil and gas corporation formed on November 30, 1999, by the merger of Exxon and Mobil. Its headquarters are in Irving, Texas.</p>
With 37 oil refineries in 21 countries, Exxon Mobil Corporation is the largest refiner in the world.</p>
- 4. BP
BP is yet another global oil and gas company, this time headquartered in London. It has operations in more than 80 countries, produces about 3.8 million barrels of oil per day and has 22,400 service stations worldwide.</p>
The name BP is derived from the initials of one of the company's former legal names, British Petroleum.</p>
- 5. Sinopec Group
Sinopec Group is one of the major petroleum companies in China, headquartered in Beijing.</p>
Its business includes oil and gas exploration as well as the production and sales of petrochemicals and chemical fibres.</p>
- 6. China National Petroleum
China National Petroleum Corporation is a state-owned fuel-producing corporation and the largest integrated oil and gas company in China. It has its headquarters in Beijing.</p>
CNPC - the parent company of PetroChina - was created in 17 September 1988 when the government decided to disband the Ministry of Petroleum and create a state owned company to handle all Petroleum activities in China.</p>
- 7. State Grid
State Grid Corporation of China is the largest electric power transmission and distribution company in China, once again headquartered in Beijing.</p>
It has subsidiaries in Northern China, Northeastern China, Eastern China, Middle China and Northwestern China.</p>
- 8. Toyota Motor
Toyota Motor Corporation, more commonly known simply as Toyota, is a multinational automaker headquartered in Toyota, Japan.</p>
The company was founded by Kiichiro Toyoda in 1937 as a spinoff from his father's company Toyota Industries. Its brands include Toyota, Lexus and Daihatsu.</p>
- 9. Japan Post Holdings
Japan Post Holdings is a state-owned Japanese company that deals with mail delivery and financial services.</p>
It is headquartered in Tokyo and was founded on January 23, 2006.</p>
- 10. Chevron
Chevron Corporation is an American energy company headquartered in San Ramon, California.</p>
It is active in more than 180 countries and is engaged in every aspect of the oil, gas, and geothermal energy industries, including exploration and production, and power generation.</p>