This original "BTS 2010 Price Reccy" was published in November 2009, with a subsequent update which included information from two Independent Stationers offering to beat Waltons prices. Please note: THIS INFORMATION WAS ACCURATE FOR NOVEMBER 2009. It is not current as at October 2010.
I encourage all retailers of stationery to contact me at email@example.com if they would like to contribute to this platform of enabling moms to be aware of all their choices for such important purchases as Back to School products. Further research will be conducted for Back-to-School 2011 and reported to moms soon!
As a mom of a Grade 1 at La Lucia Junior Primary school, we have already received our Back To School stationery list for next year, with a specialised stationery company offering a catalogue service and the products packed and delivered in one hit to parents via the school. Unsure whether to commit to this, I thought I would conduct an informal price reccy - using just a few items that most kids will need in their stationery kit for next year....with VERY INTERESTING results!
NB: This price comparison survey was conducted by me in my personal capacity and is not paid-for or endorsed by any company. I am, as always, committed to providing moms with information that is truly valuable and helps to make a positive difference in all our lives for us and our families.
For this survey I felt it only fair to compare exactly the same products through the stores, so I based my basket on a very limited, yet essential selection of one of each of the following items:
- Pritt Glue Stick (40g),
- Bostik Craft Glue (100g)
- Mon Ami Twister Crayons (pk of 12)
- Flip File (20pg)
- Staedtler HB Pencil
- Oxford School Dictionary
Which store do you think came in the cheapest for the exact same 6 products?
(prices taken from shelf as at 6th November 2009 @ stores in Gateway & Durban North, KZN)
- PNP Hypermarket?
FOR THE SIGNIFICANTLY LOWEST PRICE .....
WALTONS (instore / catalogue / online)
Calculated with shelf prices on 6th November 2009, purchasing these 6 products from Waltons today would give you a saving of R65.03 as compared with exactly the same 6 items at the most expensive chain store.
These BTS prices were confirmed by Mr Grieveson (Waltons Director) to be the same through all Waltons outlets, catalogue and online purchases at www.backtoschool.co.za. For children at schools that do not offer the catalogue option, you can visit any Waltons store or go online and order the products and pay by credit card or EFT. Your box of stationery will be available for you to collect at the branch of your choice at no extra charge. How convenient!
I must admit that I was incredibly surprised at this result, as the perception in the school carpark was that Waltons was probably costing the moms "a bit more" - but generally it seemed the moms were happy to "pay a bit extra" because of the convenience that Waltons offered by providing the service of picking, packing and delivering all the required stationery.
However it appears that in addition to the ease and convenience of being able to order via your school or online, YOU WILL ACTUALLY SAVE on today's prices too! (if your school offers this option the school receives a 7% rebate on all purchases, so you are contributing back to your school which is another bonus).
There were two products that really stood out at opposite ends of the price spectrum - Bearing in mind that this is for exactly the same product for shelf prices as at 4th November 2009:
Of course, when placing your stationery order, you are free to choose the brand of the product (unless specified by the school) and often House Brands (or no-name) are cheaper than the 'label' brands. However for genuine comparison like-for-like I have conducted this experiment using well-known brands as above at shelf prices on the 6th November 2009.
I sent this price comparisons to Game, C.N.A, Checkers and PNP Hypermarket for their comments. Traditionally these chain stores will be lowering their prices on Back To School products from mid-December, however none are prepared to give indication of what these prices will be.
The official response received on 9th November 2009 from Game:
"Moms...."Back to Game for School" should be your motto this year...with prices that beat your local specialists school supplier hands down. We stock all the major brands as well as an extensive range of "Simple Choice" products (our in-house value brand).
P.S...as always our price beat policy guarantees that should one of the other retailers offer a better price than ours on an identical product we will gladly beat their price. Watch the press and TV for details."
Game's "Price Beat" policy: I have confirmed with the Game Head Office that if you take the Waltons catalogue to any Game store, they guarantee to beat the price of the exact same product, plus credit you with 10% of the price difference.
The official response received on 11th November 2009 from CNA:
"Due to the volumes we buy from our suppliers this time of the year we will definitely have some amazing specials on key items in the back to school items".
Note: CNA will not provide an indication of exactly what the prices will be during their promotional period.
No other responses were received.
Most chain stores will have kicked into their 'Back To School' promotions by mid-December, and their prices may be cheaper than the shelf prices now, but you will have to wait and see exactly what these prices are as they are very secretive about divulging any information!
****Again I must re-inforce that this price comparison survey was conducted by me in my personal capacity and is not paid-for or endorsed by any company. I am, as always, committed to providing moms with information that is truly valuable and helps to make a positive difference in all our lives for us and our families.****
Now read the UPDATE which was published a week later.
Researched by Deborah Andrews for MomsMatter.
Prices current as at 9th November 2009 at stores at Gateway Shopping Centre and PNP Hyper, Durban North.