Today I did something that, had I been a truly rational consumer, I would have done 20 years ago.
Fisksätra has two grocery stores. One is a big chain store and the other is a typical turkbutik, a mom’n'pop store run by immigrants from the Near East. Whenever possible, I have favoured the little store. I have often gone there first and then gotten only the stuff they don’t carry from the chain store.
The little store does not carry superior wares. Its assortment is far smaller than the big store’s, and there are very few items there that you can’t get at the chain store. I have shopped there for emotional and aesthetic reasons, just to favour the little guy, and I have had no idea if there is a price difference.
Now, the keeper of a small shop is of course no more noble than the owners of a store chain. He would in all likelihood prefer to own a chain, he just hasn’t quite gotten there yet. Neither store is a co-op. My choice is strictly between a large capitalist and a small one. Both stores employ immigrants who live in the area.
Today I bought two bags of groceries from the little store. Then I took the receipt to the big store and compared prices for the first time. Eleven of the objects I bought have close or identical equivalents at the big store. Six are cheaper at the big one, three are cheaper at the little one. The whole two bags of groceries cost 291 kronor at the little store and would cost 250 at the big one, that is, 86%. And on top of that, the chain store sends us refund cheques in relationship to how much we spend there.
So I guess mom’n'pop won’t be having me much as a customer anymore.