Up to 160 percent price difference on food
The price comparison survey covered budget stores and convenience stores alike, though the latter generally has longer opening hours; as well as stores in the countryside that are part of bigger chains.
The difference between cheapest and dearest prices was more than 100 percent for 42 of the 104 items—including a price difference of 160 percent on 14 of the items. 50 items had between a 40 and 100 percent difference in price between cheapest and most expensive.
Samkaup Strax was most expensive in the second-highest number of cases after 10-11; and Krambúðin third.
After Bónus, Kronan was cheapest of all second-most-often: in 13 cases. Fjarðarkaup was cheapest for nine of the 104 surveyed items.
The ASÍ report shows that Iceland stores have moved closer to their budget rivals than before and often came in under Hagkaup this time around, which was not the case in the last survey.
The latest survey comes in the wake of heated debate in some parts of the country where Samkaup has rebranded some of its Kjörbúðin stores as Krambúðin convenience stores. As the only food shop in some places, such as Mývatnssveit, people feared the change of branding would increase their bills. The ASÍ survey seems to confirm this; showing that Krambúðin is often significantly more expensive than Kjörbúðin for the same items.
Samkaup has responded to the criticism by offering customers in some areas the option of ordering from the Nettó website (previously only available in larger towns) and collecting their order from Krambúðin. Nettó is also part of the Samkaup chain and generally cheaper than both Kjörbúðin and Krambúðin.