Loyal readers of Grub Street might know that we have a soft spot for Market Basket. The low-low prices! The variety! The people-watching! Shopping here is a regional rite of passage, right up there with standing in hours-long lines at the RMV (yet infinitely more rewarding, as the RMV does not sell Old El Paso hot enchilada sauce, as far as we’re aware.) At any rate, it seems the Herald has conducted a little experiment — a “battle of the baskets” — pitting the much-ballyhooed Wegmans against MB in a price war. And guess who comes out on top?
Even though Wegmans promised to beat MB’s prices, it seems that they can’t pull it off (yet). Says the Herald: “A sample of 25 staples including milk, eggs, coffee and soup at Market Basket in Somerville added up to $69.15, while the same items at the new Wegmans in Northboro checked out at $70.95 — or $1.80 more.” (Those who aren’t on a budget might consider Stop & Shop, where the same items cost $74.69; the truly posh should visit Shaw’s, which rang in at $83.56.)
Despite its slightly loftier prices, the flashy new Wegmans is 138,000 square feet of shopping bliss, replete with drool-worthy to-go meals, acres of fresh produce, and smiley staffers at every turn. Market Basket isn’t quite that polished. They’re also famously unconcerned with self-promotion. Wegmans, meanwhile, asserts that they’re still the “best value” around.
Will you ditch Market Basket for Wegmans?
Wegmans Loses Price Duel [Herald]