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Hyannis Flyer Redux

Well, chalk another one up for corporate greed.

The national Stop and Shop has decided to no longer honor the Hyannis flyer at the Nantucket Stop and Shop.

The message came across the Facebook group “Nantucketers for Fair Grocery Pricing,” posted by member Liz Scavilla: “IMPORTANT: Stop & Shop Corporate has decided to terminate price matching any other flyers on Nantucket other than the flyer provided in the Nantucket store. This means no more Cape flyer, or any other flyer for tht matter, is allowed to be used. They are claiming our 2 page flyer will have Cape prices on it, but who's to say the Cape flyer doesn't have Hyannis prices on it. Nevermind ALL of the items we won't have access to on sale anymore.
If you have any questions or have something to say about this, feel free to contact Suzi Robinson at S&S PR & Community Relations at 617-774-4434, [email protected], or David Monast, Nantucket S&S store manager at 508-228-2178.”

I tried calling Suzi Robinson, and got a voicemail saying she was out of town; David Monast was not available to callers. I called the general consumer service number (1-800-767-7772) and the customer service rep was very nice and is reporting my concerns.

The response on the Facebook group is continuing. Many are considering a boycott, changing regular business to the Grand Union, and shopping more off-island.

I miss the all the food co-ops I’ve belonged to, in Lexington, Kentucky; Madison, Wisconsin; and Winona, Minnesota.


I'll be lovin' me some Grand Union.

Planning a shopping trip at Shaw's & BJ's when I go off-island in a few weeks.

Grand Union ads are the most expensive around. This week the Nantucket Grand Union ad had 80 items out of the 81 there were 18 items with higher prices compared to the nearest location in Storrs Ct. Infact 4 items were $1.00 more than the island and they were Folgers coffee 22oz can island price 9.99 off island 8.99,Angel Soft Bath tissue island price 6.99 off island price 5.99, Cabot Cheese large block island price 10.99 off island price 9.99, Philly Gourmet frozen burger patties island price7.99 off island price 6.99,,the remaining 14 other prices ranged from 6 cents to 50 cents higher than Storrs Location. The grass isnt always greener on the other side, ALso important to note on average the Grand Union Circular has between 78 and 85 items per week with difference higher from 15 to as many as 31 items more on Nantucket. The new compromise Stop and Shop has made with island consumers is a positive. I can confirm with research ive conducted over the past few weeks that all items on the 2 page island ad do match Cape Cod prices and will for the long term according to store officials. Before the chang ein policy to have all cape cod prices on the 2 page ad, differences in prices from the Cape this year averaged from as little as 6 items to as much as 11 higher than the island. The most significantly higher ad occured prior to policy change in circular before May 26th, I have ciriculars i have printed form the island and marked off on higher prices from both Stop and Shop and Grand Union markets. I will be happy to talk to anyone about this issue directly if you care too, I do not work for either company and am a private citizen consumer advocate.

Rachel Dowling's picture

What incredible stinkers. I was just about to sign up, too.   

I realize this won't be very popular but I don't see how this is "corporate greed" at all. They obviously have higher costs here than on the Cape so I don't think they should necessarily have the same prices. It is perfectly your right to go to Grand Union, but should they honor their Rutland, VT flyer here?

Rob Ranney's picture

maybe i was born yesterday .. but why is it soo unblievable that we all (in whatever community that we live - offisland versus onisland) should not pay the same, or very close to it, for the same items .. capitalism clearly suggests that if you can buy an item cheaper and easier from another source - then why would you pay more somewhere else .. its not about flyers .. its about fair treatment, choice, and being taken advantage of because this island offers few other choices!

We are not asking for the same prices 24/7 just the same sale ad. Which you think wouldn't be such a big deal since everything else is still at the Nantucket High Price.

My feeling is we SHOULD have the same prices as anywhere else on ALL ITEMS.
The cost of shipping goods to stores nearby and faraway from their distribution centers is a cost of doing business, companywide. The cost of paying employees may also vary from location to location, but again, it is a companywide expense. The goods they sell should cost the same everywhere. McDonalds does not charge more for a hamburger in locations further from the source of their frozen meat patty distribution center, nor should S&S charge more for a can of tuna on Nantucket. Where does S&S draw the line? Is it cheaper to get a can of tuna five miles from their distribution center than fifty-five miles away? I don't think so, but it should be if they uphold their 'excuse' for charging us more. Driving those trucks an extra fifty miles costs more... yet somehow that differing cost for transportation is not put on each store. The only difference I see is they are charging more where the average income is higher, and Nantucket County is rated to have the highest average income in the United States. Is this legal to charge us more? Probably. Is it fair, or even good business? Absolutely not.

Um, McDonalds absolutely does have market prices that vary WILDLY by both region and specific location (they are not driven by distance from distribution centers, but neither are Stop & Shop's so your analogy is still invalid). When you say "companywide expense" you are basically suggesting that customers in one place subsidize others based on where they choose to live and shop. Have you been to Hawaii? it's a more extreme version of the islands - people pay higher retail prices as part of the deal for living there. Most retailers specifically exclude certain places from advertised pricing claims for this reason. DO or don't shop there, but Stop & Shop is just doing the same, just on a regional scale.

But it really does take a big investment to ship items to Hawaii, not Nantucket. And this Stop and Shop is reputed to be the highest grossing they have. That's greed because they can get away with it.

As a specific example, the McDonald's on the Mass Pike has much higher prices than a McDonald's in a suburb. This should be obvious and is very rational. As one example they pay a much higher rent on the Mass Pike and customers will pay for the convenience rather than getting off an exit. Why should we expect these costs to be borne "companywide" by customers going to a McDonald's in New Hampshire as one example, That's just silly. Stop and Shop pays higher rent in Nantucket, more for their water, more for electricity, more for repairs, more for shipping, etc. Why should customer's companywide subsidize thi?. I'm sure Nantucket is the highest GROSSING Stop & Shop per square foot, but the key word is GROSSING, not "netting" because of the higher costs to operate here. Why is that greed because they get away with it? Do you think the Grand Union charges higher prices here than NY?

Rob Ranney's picture

certainly there are expenses involved in doing business on an island, where shipping costs are huge and there is a lack of storage, and certainly some of this is passed on to the consumer. fine. we get that .. however - by not offering your loyal customers (who you know have few if any other options) any sort of sales or discounts or incentives for going to your store (presumably because you think you have us in the 'palm of your hand') - and by not listening to their concerns and by not even acknowledging the fact that you have monopolized their consumerism for many years - and by being stubborn and unwilling to work with the very people who make the Nantucket store your most profitable (despite being the smallest per square foot of any of your stores) - a huge profit margin which is only possible because you charge way more than you should because you think you have a captive and willing consumer base (you make more per square foot in the Nantucket store than you do in any other store in your chain by far - but yet you give Nantucketers the least concessions as far as sales and discounts go) - despite all this - your arrogance will lead to your demise .. i have only contempt for Stop & Shop .. corporate greed at the expense of the very people .. so sad

Criticize them for being short-sighted if you think that is the case (assuming enough people feel like Rob and George), but they are a for-profit entity, and "because they can get away with it" is sort of the definition of supply and demand-based capitalism. (I am not advocating supporting them per se, but spare us the moral outrage and attributing of motivations to a common business practice.)

("Sanfrancristo," are you new here?)

Because I feel the same way that Rob & Georgen do (as well as many others,) I'm all for starting

a co-op.