Perth Prices

Reporter: Graeme Butler

Perth shoppers are paying more than others living interstate.

We've compared prices in supermarkets in Perth, with prices elsewhere and found West Australians are paying enough extra money to take a family away on holidays.

We are denying ourselves choice, opportunity and price competitiveness.

If you live in Melbourne there's a shopping revolution underway - it's called Costco and it's turning supermarkets on their heads - On it's opening day there were traffic jams as eager shoppers poured in to lap up the savings.

At Costco you need to pay an annual membership fee of $60 and most goods are in bulk.

What we've got at the moment is costing Western Australian consumers directly but indirectly it's costing us in terms of family choice, family time, employment and tourism and we're bearing the cost.

So what is the cost of not having extended trading hours - not having stores like Costco and Aldi open in W.A.?

We've compared shopping prices in Melbourne at Coles, Woolies and Costco to those in Perth.

Costco is a different style of retailing. It's not a supermarket, it's a wholesale bulk retailer but it does affect consumers' expectations about what prices are and what is fair and reasonable

Our first comparison was Nurofen -

At Coles and Woolies in Melbourne - $5.11 In Perth $5.77 at one Coles store

Costco in Melbourne $3.99

That's $1.78 more in Perth

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Twinings English Breakfast tea bags -

In Melbourne $8.85 at Coles - in Perth $9.34

Costco in Melbourne $6.33

In Perth you're paying $3.01 more

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Heinz Big Red Tomato Soup

In Melbourne, Woolies and Coles charged $1.76 in Perth the same stores charged $1.95

But at Costco - it's just $1.25

That's 70 cents more in Perth

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Cadbury Fruit and Nut chocolate ( 200g )

In Melbourne Woolies $2.99 in Perth Woolies $3.99

Costco ( 2 x 100g) $3.78

Same store same product but Perth pays more $1.00

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Dettol Handwash - at Coles in melbourne it was $2.70 in Perth Coles $2.99

Costco $2.33

That's an extra 66 cents in Perth

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Finish Rinse Aid

Woolies in Melbourne - $7.61 in Perth $8.30

Costco

$6.63

Again Perth pays more - $1.63

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The survey highlights and reinforces the fact that in Western Australia we are paying more for groceries than shoppers in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

There is some good news - prices of some products in Perth were cheaper than the east coast - but not too many - unfortunately the real cost is revealed in the over-all basket.

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Basket prices

In Melbourne, Coles and Woolies averaged

$103.56

In Perth

$107.48

That's $3.92 more in Perth

It's only one or two percent but it's one or two percent every week every time you visit the supermarket.

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But factor in Costco and the results are shocking. The basket that cost $107 at Coles and Woolies in Perth cost just $82.11 at Costco

That's a whopping $25.37 more for Perth shoppers.

It's a huge amount because it impacts on people's lifestyle, their alternatives their ability to go on holidays, what they will spend on clothing and discretionary goods.

It's estimated that Costco can save shoppers around fifty dollars a week - that's a stunning $2600 a year - serious cash

$2600 would pay for a family holiday to Bali for seven days all expenses paid but don't rush out and grab your passport just yet - these are savings Perth shoppers can only dream about.