Pak'n' Save out does Trade Me

Shoppers queue in Pak 'n' Save in Kilbirnie.
ROSS GIBLIN/Dominion Post
Shoppers queue in Pak 'n' Save in Kilbirnie.

Supermarket chain Pak'nSave has been ranked the leading "good value brand" in a survey of 400 shoppers.

The top result for the supermarket chain, that has six outlets in the Wellington region, comes following research undertaken last week by Auckland-based firm Big Picture Research.

Auction site Trade Me was ranked second while DIY chain Bunnings just edged out competitor Mitre 10 to take third spot.

Jon Bird, chief executive officer of brand strategy firm Idea Works in Sydney, revealed the findings at a breakfast gathering of 600 retail industry people hosted by shopping mall owner Westfield this morning.

Big Picture asked 400 New Zealanders to rate a basket of 43 different retail and manufacturer brands.

The survey asked if the brands were expensive and not worth it; cheap but not good value; expensive but worth it; and whether their good value was improving, getting worse or staying the same.

The surprise in the survey was the ranking of the country's biggest listed retailer The Warehouse.  "Surely this is a great value operator? It's number 33 on the list of 43 good value brands," Bird said.

"Admittedly this is a survey of 400 people but I think it is an interesting dipstick. I wonder whether The Warehouse has been depositioned by retailers like Trade Me."

The survey did indicate that The Warehouse was improving in terms of its value perceptions "but perhaps not as fast as its competitors", he said.

Air New Zealand was seen by Kiwis as expensive but worth it while Jetstar was seen as cheap and not worth it. "That says that value does not equal price," he said.

"In fact 73 per cent of those surveyed said good value was more than just price and 58 per cent said sales have less effect today - they're so common."

The state of retail globally was "the most fascinating, puzzling, daunting, challenging and ultimately exhilarating time for retail in history", he said.

"We're experiencing a world a world of change."

The market disruption had resulted in mass discounting, creating what he called a sea of red on Australia's High Street.

"I don't think it's quite this bad in New Zealand - in Australia we say 70 per cent off is the new 50 per cent off," Bird said.

"I think the response in Australia has been too much discounting and too much constant sales and customers aren't responding to sales the way that they used to and I think we've got to move on from that."

Retailers had to add value to their offerings, remembering that value was more than price.

"Some of the statistics in Australia say that retail will start to turn this year," he said.

"I hope so but I think by the same token we've got to remember that the game has changed forever because we are living in a global environment and retailers like Farmers or the Warehouse, they're not just competing with local retailers any more, they're competing with the world."

On the upside many retailers were not only surviving but thriving. "There are a lot of winning retailers today," he said.

"How's a retailer going to win? Basically the same way they've always won - by delivering good value and a great experience, what I call the two unchanging deliverables."