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November 26. 2013 9:51PM

NH supermarkets competing for Thanksgiving dinner dollars

Comparing the prices of common Thanksgiving items at four grocery stores — Shaw's Market in Milford, Walmart in Amherst, Market Basket in Nashua and Hannaford in Concord — revealed a lot of similarities in prices.

The similarities at Market Basket and Shaw's are not an accident, said John Dumais, president of the New Hampshire Grocers Association.

"Shaw's has gone through a number of management and ownership changes and closed six stores in New Hampshire," he said, "but now they're trying to be more aggressive with their pricing and getting more in line with their competitors in the state."

When it came to turkeys, the local chains undercut Walmart by a wide margin.

But Dumais said customers make up the difference by saving on other items at Walmart.

"Walmart's got lots of other things to sell that the grocery stores don't sell," he said, "so they're hoping that people going in to buy other things will be willing to pay a little more for their turkeys."

Dumais also cautioned against assuming that just because one store may have the lowest prices for certain items, shopping at the same store consistently will result in lower grocery bills.

Weekly sales, the availability of similar brands at lower prices, even the location of each store can have an impact on the bottom line for shoppers.

"One store isn't always going to be cheaper than another," he said.

nfoster@newstote.com


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