The Price is Now Right

To once again quote from Casey Kasem’s famous rant, “this happens to me all the time!” I go to the supermarket and cannot find a favorite product. Occasionally, I see the “closeout item” tag and buy whatever is left on the shelf. This past weekend, I was shut out trying to buy some Eating Right salad dressing at Food City. As I griped about it on Twitter, it occurred to me to look online for other places to find it. The dressing is made by Lucerne Foods, the house brand at Safeway. My wife was in Northern Virginia at the time so I asked her to stop at a Safeway and buy me some. She bought 15 bottles. Safeway used Twitter to congratulate me.

A new favorite product is sometimes hard to find. I have been using Kellogg’s All-Bran Bran Buds as a salad topping and enjoying the health benefit they provide. I usually get them at Walmart but had to go elsewhere last night. It irked me that a box of Buds cost about 50¢ more at Kroger. I recalled a conversation from the night before and asked the cashier if they price-matched. He punched a button or two on his register and in a matter of seconds, I was paying the Walmart price at Kroger.

The idea to ask Kroger for a price match came on Tuesday night at Patrick Sullivan’s.  I spoke with a guy named Doug as he waited for the Einstein Simplified show to begin. In his job for a soft-drink bottler, he stocks product into three major retailers in Sevier County. I asked him about the two-liter bottles I saw at a Knoxville Walmart for only 75¢ each. He said that the retail giant often comparison shops and drops their price to beat a competitor. He said they are less likely to do so in a tourist area such as Sevierville or Pigeon Forge. However, Doug said that even touristy Walmarts will probably match the price of a competitor if asked to do so by a customer.

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