Milwaukee-based Roundy’s Supermarkets Inc. recently announced it will lower prices on various grocery items sold at all Pick ‘n Save, Metro Market and Copps stores in Wisconsin.
Eggs, milk, head lettuce, bananas, and white and wheat bread are among the “thousands of items” from all aisles included in the indefinite promotion, which applies to Roundy’s 106 total stores throughout the state. That number consists of 95 Pick ‘n Save stores, eight Metro Market stores, and three Copps stores.
Roundy’s will not disclose the total number of discounted grocery items nor their average price decrease, said vice president communications and public affairs James Hyland. However, he cited some examples, such as a 17 percent discount on Nabisco Crackers, which were previously priced at $3.39 and are now priced at $2.79, and a 23 percent discount on Capri Sun, which dropped from $2.99 to $2.59.
Roundy’s in 2015 was acquired for $800 million by Cincinnati-based grocer The Kroger Co. The price lowering initiative is part of the company’s multi-phase ‘Restock Kroger’ plan, which was launched in October. The first phase of the initiative incorporates data analytics and digital shopping tools to “redefine the food and grocery experience,” Hyland said.
Roundy’s has now launched an app, and offers curb-side pickup at 50 locations and home-delivery services at 80 percent of its Wisconsin stores.
“We call it ‘Smart Pricing,'” Hyland said. “Using careful analysis through data analytics, we’ve determined that these lower prices will result in increased engagement and more market share.”
Market analyst and former Roundy’s employee David Livingston is skeptical of the company’s lowered prices, calling it a “gimmick.” He said the promotion is a typical tactic of most major grocery store chains to draw in more customers, and bring in a short-term increase in sales.
“What is does is gets your attention, but they’re not really lowering prices,” he said. “Let’s say they lower prices on two, three, or four percent of the store… What they don’t tell you is that they are increasing prices of even more items throughout the rest of the store.”
He said consumers will end up spending the same amount or more on groceries, misled by the idea that they would spend less.
Hyland disputes Livingston’s claims, saying Roundy’s does not “run our business on gimmicks.”
“We have the benefit of utilizing Kroger’s data analytics…which uses innovative analytics and insights,” he said. “That’s how we make these pricing decisions, with careful data analysis. This results is increased customer engagement, which we are seeing, and the net result will be benefit to the bottom line.”