The independent website, Retail Price Watch, which tracks prices of more than 17 000 household goods in over 40 stores around the country, allowing consumers to compare prices at Pick n Pay, Woolworths, Spar, Shoprite and Checkers, has received over 13 000 unique visitors and more than 50 000 page views in its first three months of operation.
"The purpose of the website is to provide consumers with more choice when it comes to the goods they put in their shopping baskets on a regular basis," says Viccy Baker of Red Gekko Design and Branding Solutions, publishers of the site.
"The purses of South African consumers are under threat from rising prices and low economic activity and the website offers them a chance to save on their household shopping bills by making more informed choices about what they buy."
Baker says that the effects of the recession are being reflected in the stores in the form of contracting ranges in such categories as coffee and canned foods, the disappearance of luxury items off the shelves and the appearance of more 'low price' and budget ranges in store butcheries for example.
"We are currently operating in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban, the Vaal Triangle, East London, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town and will shortly be adding Bloemfontein to our list of cities."
Prices are gathered by means of handheld bar code scanners, which feed the latest price of a particular product (and the date it was loaded) directly to the website. More than 60 000 prices are updated in any one week. The site has created 14 jobs since inception.
For more information, go to www.retailpricewatch.co.za