I bought the same purchases from Tesco Extra and Tesco Express and that was the cost difference
Tesco fans will know that there are several different types of stores operated by the supermarket.
From Tesco Extra, Tesco Superstore, Tesco Metro and Tesco Express, there is a whole range of stores from small to large.
The main differences are the size of each store and the range of products on offer – but thrifty shoppers will also have noticed that there is a subtle price difference, with Express stores in particular being the most expensive.
Read more: Tesco v Aldi – I did my weekly shopping in both supermarkets and one was much cheaper
In May, the supermarket giant announced a major overhaul of its stores across the UK, with 147 Metro stores transformed into Express or Superstores .
The long-standing Tesco Metro in Canton, Cardiff, fell victim to this major overhaul and was renamed overnight as an Express store.
With its shiny new sign having been installed on June 14, local residents and loyal customers of the Canton store have taken to social media to voice their concerns about the change, including over anticipated price hikes.
Their concerns are not unfounded. Search by whom? in February revealed that buyers of convenience stores supermarkets – such as “express” branches – spend an extra £ 320 per year on groceries.
Dennis Hill, 66, who has been shopping at the Canton branch for 45 years, said of the change: “The majority of buyers are seniors like me, or singles, or low-income people. this pandemic, everyone’s running out of money and they’re going to drive up the prices.
“It’s very frustrating for me. I now have to take a bus to Lidl. I spend up to £ 20 a week there so they will lose around £ 1000 from me if I don’t go back.”
But will a store in Tesco Express really cost you more than a store in a Metro, Superstore or Extra? We bought the exact same list of items from Tesco Extra on Western Avenue in Cardiff and the new Tesco Express in Canton to find out.
For both stores, I stuck to Tesco branded products to make the comparison as fair as possible. I did a typical weekly shop, with 30 items in total.
As expected, the Tesco Express was considerably smaller than the Tesco Extra. I was worried that I would not be able to find all the items in the Express store, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that there was still a large selection of products on offer.
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Both stores have good Covid security measures in place, such as an entrance traffic light system to control the number of customers inside, hand sanitizer stations and trolleys, social distancing signs on the ground and plastic screens at checkouts.
Then it was time to shop around. As I walked around the two stores the price difference looked like a few pennies here and there – but with a difference of £ 3.29 on receipts at the end, the pennies definitely added up.
Where there were differences, Tesco Express was always the culprit for the more expensive item.
Very noticeable price differences included a 260g packet of two salmon fillets (£ 3.25 in Tesco Extra vs. £ 3.85 in Tesco Express) and a nine pack of toilet paper (£ 3.75 in Express vs. 3 £ much cheaper in Extra).
A few small differences that ultimately widened the gap between the final totals even further included a whole mango (85p in Express, against 74p in Extra), a head of broccoli (46p against 55p), a 500g packet of fusilli pasta (53p in Extra, 60p in Express), a medium bottle of semi-skimmed milk (80p vs. 85p) and a box of 80 tea bags (£ 1.10 vs. £ 1.25).
Granted, a few items were priced the same – for example, a bag of Tesco’s Finest Sea Salt & Cider Vinegar crisps (£ 1), a pack of digestives (50p) and a six-pack of Pink Lady apples (£ 2.80).
Overall, I spent £ 43.99 on Tesco Extra and £ 47.28 on Tesco Express for the exact same items.
According to my own shopping list, if you were doing your weekly shopping at Tesco Express rather than Tesco Extra, the seemingly small difference of £ 3.29 would cost you £ 171.08 over a year, which is less than the search for Which? concluded, but still a significant amount.
For any thrifty shoppers on a budget, it’s surely a no-brainer to stick with the larger versions from Tesco, rather than their convenience store counterparts.
A Tesco spokesperson said: “Over the past few years we have seen our customers’ buying habits change and we have made the decision to rename all of our Metro stores to better reflect this. Our Metro format was originally designed for weekly department stores, but today almost 70% of customers use them as convenience stores, buying food for that day.
“To ensure that our offering continues to meet the needs of our customers, 89 of our Metro stores will be renamed Tesco Express, including the Canton store, Cardiff. The remaining 58 Metro stores will have their Metro signage removed and called Tesco Superstores. “