Many Nigerians already have the impression that products sold in shopping malls and such outlets, apart from having the best qualities, are cheaper than such products sold in the open markets and smaller shops, but P.M. NEWS has discovered that this notion may not be right after all as the prices of goods at Shoprite in Ikeja, capital of Lagos state show.

On its website for example, Africa’s biggest retailer prides itself as “Africa’s leading retailer and is the brand of choice for many consumers across the African continent.”

It boasts that its large following of loyal customers can be attributed to “our ability to offer the widest range of products and the highest standards of freshness and quality” at the lowest prices.

But as P.M.NEWS found out, Shoprite does not consistently offer ‘the lowest prices’ to its thousands of customers.

While a litre pack of Funman juice is sold for N300 at Shoprite, it is sold at N250 at other retail shops while those who sell at smaller shops and open markets sell between N270 and N280. Shoprite sells a 1 litre pack of 5alive for N269.99, but the same pack is sold between N250 and N260 by other smaller retail shops in the state.

Also, products whose prices were further compared include the 500 gramme size of Blueband (butter) which sells for N299.99 and N250 elsewhere as well as the 250 gramme size which sells for N194.99 at Shoprite as against the N150 for which it is sold elsewhere.

Buyers inside Shoprite in Lekki

Buyers inside Shoprite in Lekki

While 1 litre pack of Hollandia Yoghurt fruit drink sells for N299.99 at Shoprite, it sells for N270 in most of the shops. Also, a litre pack of Hollandia plain yoghurt sells for N339.99 at Shoprite while it sells for between N280 and N300 in other retail stores.

At Shoprite, the price of 500 gramme pack of Kellogg’s cornflakes is N989.99 while same is sold at between N750 and N800 in other areas. Nasco Corn flakes (350g), which sells for N399.99 at Shoprite could be bought at N350 in some other shops.

At a grocery store in Ogba, the 75g pack of Fruit and Fibre sold for N900. Shoprite sells its own for N1390.

Furthermore, a difference was discovered in the price of 500g of Quaker oats between Shoprite and the open market. While it sells for N429.99 at Shoprite, it is sold at between N350 and N400 in other places.

A 500g (refill) of Quaker oats is sold for N399.99 at Shoprite but sold at N350 in other shops.

The 1kg pack of Golden Morn (Maize) sells for N799.99 against the N750 at which it is sold elsewhere. Its 450g size is sold for N459.99 at Shoprite and between N400 and N420 in some other places.

Again, 400 grammes (sachet) of NIDO powdered milk has a fixed price of N629.99 as against N610 it is sold in shops. The same quantity of Hollandia milk has a price tag of N629.99 at Shoprite against N560 and N600 it is sold in shops.

While 400 grammes of Ovaltine is sold for N719.99 at Shoprite, it sells for between N650 and N680 in other places.

Dano milk (400 grammes) was discovered to be sold for N799.99 at Shoprite while it is sold for N600 in some other areas. Its 400g refill is sold for N749.99 at Shoprite but sold for N540 and N580 in some other areas.

Buyers inside a Shoprite outlet in Lagos

Buyers inside a Shoprite outlet in Lagos

Its 900g is sold for N1699.99 at Shoprite, but sold for N1500 in some sales outlets.

Real milk sells for N649.99 at Shoprite as against between N550 and N590 in other shops.

A bag of 10kg of Semovita sells for N1,500 in Ogba, at Shoprite, one Kg sells for N400, meaning that 10kg, will go for N4000. Shoprite price for a unit of Rose tissue paper is N60, whereas it is N40, in Ogba.

P.M. NEWS also found a huge difference in the price of 400 grammes of Peak powdered milk refill at Shoprite where it sells for N849.99 and other places where it sells for between N730 and N800.

A 400g can of powdered Peak milk sells for N969.99 at Shoprite, its 900g also costs N2199.99 at Shoprite, but surprisingly, the same quantities go for N850 and N2000 respectively in some shops.

A 900g of Cowbell milk in can could be found at Shoprite at the sum of N1,279.99 and its 400g is sold at the retail shop for N679.99, but a check at other local shops showed that the 900g could be bought at N1,100 and N1,200 while the 400 grammes sells for between N650 and N700.

The study further proved a price differential in the 400 grammes of LOYA milk (can) at N749.99 compared with N700 at which it is sold in other areas. Its 900g sells for N1659.99 as against N1450 and N1500 in other places.

It was also discovered that the 100g of McVities Shortbread sells for N259.99 as against N250 for which it sells in other shops just as the difference between 200g is N399.99 at Shoprite and N350 elsewhere.

The price of Lipton Yellow Label (pack of 25 sachets) sells for N139.99 at Shoprite, but the price varies in other places between N130 and N150.

For detergents, 500g of Sunlight 2-in-1 is sold for N219.99 as against N200 in some places, So Klin (200g) costs N99.99, same price with most shops which sell at N100

Nivea roll on (50ml bottle) is sold for N359.99 at Shoprite and N250 in smaller shops within Lagos state.

Premier Cool soap (70g) is sold for N69.99 each totalling N420 for a pack of six soaps at Shoprite, but this same pack of six goes for N350 in the open market. The 120g is sold at Shoprite for N119.99 per one meaning that a pack which contains six soaps goes for N714, but the same quantity is sold for N550 in other retail shops

A carton of 600ml of Heineken costs N2600 in the market resulting to N217 per bottle, but a bottle of this same quantity is sold at Shoprite for N249.99. However, the advantage here is that Shoprite sells both the bottle and its content while other sales outlets would ask a buyer to return the bottles or exchange with empty ones.

A bottle of Gulder of the same quantity selling for N219 at Shoprite amounts to N2,628 a carton as against N2050 for which a carton of the alcoholic drink is sold elsewhere. A carton of Star lager beer is sold for N1950 at retail shops amounting to N162.5 per bottle as against N219.99 for a bottle at Shoprite.

However, the price for soft drinks is regarded as cheap in this retail shop as a 500ml coca-cola, Fanta and Sprite go N79.99 as against N85 in local retail outlets and N100 in many shops.

While officials of the retail shop would not want to speak with the press preferring instead that our reporter visit the Lekki branch of Shoprite on any inquiry relating to the prices, some of the customers disclosed that they had never given a thought to comparing the prices of commodities at the retail shop with others.

“Since Shoprite came to Ikeja, I don’t think I have tried to buy any important commodity around my house. I prefer coming here with the belief that the prices are okay,” Mohammed Aribisala, a resident of Alausa told P.M. NEWS.

Another customer, Mrs. Funmilayo Sunday, noted that sometimes she was aware of the differences in prices, she believes that she would get better quality products and satisfaction patronising the outlet.

“With products sold here, I do not think I have to fret or fear about quality. You know there are many substandard and inferior products out there. Because of its brand, most of us have come to believe in the things sold here,” she said.

But a journalist with the Lagos State Television, LTV8, who would not want her name mentioned told how she once bought a product from the outlet in Ikeja only to find out that it had expired.

“Since then, I ensure that whatever I buy from there, I check very well,” she said.

A staff of the shop who spoke with P.M. NEWS said the prices are placed depending on the supplies at every point in time.

According to him, “we can sell a product for a price today and by tomorrow, when the company manufacturing it supplies us, they give to us at an increased price. In that case, we would have to inflate the prices of the commodities like it happened recently.

“Remember also that we pay rent, tax and other rates. The government cannot say because we sell at cheaper rates, it would collect lower taxes from us. So these things count.”

Another explained that the price of a bottle of beer is relatively cheaper at Shoprite compared to other local distributors since at Shoprite, the drink is sold with the bottle.

Shoprite first entered Nigeria in December 2005, when it opened a store in the shopping centre, The Palms in Victoria Island, Lagos. Shoprite followed up with a store on Adeniran Ogunsanya Street, Surulere, Lagos and another store in Enugu. Last year, it opened another store in Ikeja Mall, also in Lagos.

Across Nigeria, Shoprite has a store in Abuja and will open an additional one in April.

No fewer than six other new outlets are planned by Africa’s biggest retailer this year in Ibadan, Warri, Kano and Festac Town in Lagos.

Comparison of Shoprite prices and other outlets:

Best Marula Cream bottle (750ml)

Shoprite- N1179.99
Market- N1000

Amarula bottle (750ml)
Market- N2200

Grand malt (330ml) can
Market- N100

Malta Guinness (330ml) can
Shoprite- N109.99
Market- N105 and N110

Amstel Malta (330ml) can
Market-N105 and N110

Maltina (330ml) can
Shoprite- N94.99
Market- N100

Malta Gold (330ml) can
Shoprite- N99.99

50kg bag of rice

Market- N11,000

Coca-cola plastic (500ml)
Shoprite- N79.99
Market- N85 to N100

Fanta (500ml)
Shoprite- N79.99
Market- N85 to N100

Sprite (500ml)
Shoprite- N79.99
Market- N85 to N100

Bobo drink (200ml)
Shoprite- N44.99
Market- N45 to N50