THE SMALLER supermarkets that have long been strangled by the giants of the game are starting to hit back.
A few months ago IGA rolled out price matching at its big Super stores to try and hold the Coles and Woolworths juggernaut at bay.
The success of that decision has persuaded them to now price match in their small suburban IGA outlets and Springfield Lakes is one of their first to accept the pricing challenge.
The store has implemented a price match promise, reducing the cost of hundreds of products to match the everyday shelf price of the major national supermarket chains.
In a direct response to customer feedback, IGA's price match has been developed by studying customer shopping habits to identify the most popular everyday products in a bid to promote the benefits of shopping locally.
IGA Springfield store owner Terry Slaughter said the price match promise worked by reviewing a sample of prices from other supermarkets.
"Each week we review samples from Coles and Woolworths stores and then our shelf price is matched to the lower of the Coles or Woolworths price," he said.
"All of the products in store which are price matched are clearly labelled with special tickets, so customers can ensure they are getting the best value for their money.
"Customers won't need to bring in catalogues from other stores because we have automatically matched the prices."
"The price match covers hundreds of products which customers place into their trolley or basket on a regular basis, such as Weetbix, Coca Cola and baby formula, just to name a few."
Products that are excluded from the price match promise include items in Coles or Woolworths that are on promotion or reduced to clear, all fresh products such as fruit, vegetables, items from the deli and bakery and tobacco products.
Mr Slaughter hopes the price match promise will change people's perceptions of IGA.
"For a long time, there was a perception from people that IGA was a lot more expensive than other supermarket retailers," Mr Slaughter said.
"It used to be the case that if you were time poor you would opt to pay that little bit extra rather than going to a big mall.
"That may have been the case years ago, but it is not anymore. IGA has had a big shake up, and our prices are now more suitable for the retail market."
Members of the Springfield community shopping at IGA yesterday said they were thrilled with the price match initiative.
Springfield Lakes resident Laura Mitchell said it would be a "big help" for families who were doing it tough.
"Money in our household is very tight at the moment, especially after my husband lost his job a few months ago," Mrs Mitchell said.
"So whenever the catalogues arrive in our mailbox, I go through them with a highlighter and compare prices to make sure I can save as much money as possible.
"Knowing that IGA will now price match on the majority of their products will make a big difference to many people's wallets, like mine.
"This is a business that understands that people are doing it tough and I see it as their way of trying to make things that little easier."
Builder Marcus Owen learnt about the price match promise while buying lunch and agreed it would help his family budget.
"IGA is closer to us than the other big supermarkets, so if we know we can come here and get the same prices on most of our groceries, it will not only help us save money at the checkout, but also on the petrol we would have used to go to the shopping centre," he said.
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