Reader-submitted: The Lakewood Food Price Phenomenon

opinionI am sure many of you out there would agree with me that the beautiful y”t of Pesach is also a very costly one. Clothing and shoes for the family is just the beginning. Then comes the grocery bill….The price of food, matzah, and meat can be very expensive. For many families this must be a very difficult and stressful time of year.

I am a savvy food shopper and I really try to get the best pricing out there. For once and for all I would like some insight as to why the Lakewood grocery stores do not have the same sales and pricing as the Brooklyn stores?! The difference in pricing is quiet significant and astonishing.

The Lakewood consumer (that is you and me) really doesn’t have much of an option but to shop in the local grocery stores. Going into Brooklyn for food shopping is really not a feasible choice for many.

When trying to figure out this costly Lakewood phenomenon I did speak to a an owner of a major kosher food company who also has many children that reside in Lakewood. He was also disturbed by the “Lakewood food price phenomenon”. He informed me that the store owners in Lakewood receive the same pricing as the stores in Brooklyn. He also doesn’t understand why his children can’t enjoy a similar food shopping experience as those in Brooklyn.

If anyone out there with some insight can enlighten me I would sincerely appreciate it. Maybe then when I do my y”t shopping this year it will be a little easier to swallow the cost.

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47 COMMENTS

  1. I know exactly what you’re talking about… In Boro Park, you have the Kollel Grocery (KRM), and Paperific, that offer amazing prices you will not find anywhere else; & not just food wise; that’s including cleaning products, disposable ware etc.. at rock bottom prices; practically wholesale on some items. There is no such a thing in Lakewood. Halevei we can do something about this!

  2. Wow !! I am so with u!! The prices are so different!! (moderated) is offering a sale for 5.79 when krm has it for 3.99
    The lists go on and on u an see all the price differences in the papers!!
    Some things are 100% cheaper!!!
    It is riddiculous !!!!
    Btw if u look at some of the ‘smaller stores here in Lakewood u will find better deals than some of the bigger ones here!!!
    Thanks for the post I have been saying this for years!! I travel to Brooklyn every year before pesach an save hundreds of dollars!!!

  3. It’s beyond embarrassing this situation. What’s more is the people who are busy they are here for us, to help us etc. And yet can’t get us fair pricing.

    Haolam cheese. 10.49 in Moishas and 12.50 in Lakewood

    But forget about sales . Brooklyn is hands down 5-10% cheaper then the cheapest local store

  4. This is a sham.

    Store owners are overcharging because they can.

    I dare any local store to advertise that their prices are the most competitive in town – guaranteed.

    That should be enough to create a price war.

  5. I had someone that went to Brooklyn for Shabbos pick up a few items for me. On a $70 order in Moishas I would have spent over $100 in Lakewood after running to various stores to get the sale prices. Thats a verrry small order imagine the savings for larer orders. This is a town of Bnai Torah and yes there are young families making Pesach not everyone goes away. Hope the stores realize this and change something. Its about time

  6. I am going to add more fuel to the fire! Although I have no way of definitely knowing, I do have a very strong hunch that the grocery stores on 13th ave , Coney, and Ave M have a much higher rent/ mortgage to pay than the stores that are located in Lakewood. After all, Its prime property in Brooklyn!!! This phenomenon is becoming even more phenomenal!

  7. Did anybody take into consideration that maybe, and I say maybe, the Lakewood stores are being charged more by their suppliers than the Brooklyn stores?

    If Brooklyn is selling the item for $10.00.
    Maybe they bought it for $9.00?

    But the poor Lakewood store owners might be buying the same item for $11.00, so they have to sell for 12.00 in order to make a profit.

    Just a thought.
    Not everything is so simple.
    I may be wrong, yet this might be plausible explanation to the discrepancy.

  8. Different take- did you read the article.

    Apparently not.

    Copied and paste for your convenience

    ” I did speak to a an owner of a major kosher food company who also has many children that reside in Lakewood. He was also disturbed by the “Lakewood food price phenomenon”. He informed me that the store owners in Lakewood receive the same pricing as the stores in Brooklyn. “

  9. don’t bring proof from sales which have limits as thy are probably taking a loss on those items, compare regularly priced items. shoprite also takes losses on items..
    the price difference must be because they deal in higher volume and can take a lower margin
    many stores take credit which is usually not payed up so easy so as a result the other customers get charged more

  10. The biggest problem is that many get supplemented for their grocery shopping here in lakewood so the high prices don’t bother them. But for those that work hard and don’t have the extra to spend on groceries are sometimes taken advantage of – not on purpose but….

  11. @ In Towner

    I live in Lakewood for 20 years and I am not related, nor do i have a financial interest in any food establishment in Lakewood or NY.

    I am also a shopper in Lakewood, and wish that prices would be cheaper.

    Even with the aforementioned, as background, I am not convinced that the Lakewood store owners cost are the same as Brooklyn.
    The workers here in Lakewood might be more expensive. Electricity might cost more. Property tax might cost more.
    Adding all these variables might cause the prices to be higher.

    Even if I were to assume that the groceries in Lakewood and BP both buy the same item for $10.00; but when you factor in expenses it might be higher.
    Otherwise, if it was so simple, you can open a store with the BP prices and I will shop in your store.
    It’s obviously not that simple.
    Best of luck.

  12. everyone here is simply clueless!! A big store like krm etc. that is buying at incredible volume obviously gets it at a cheaper rate THATS HIS WHOLE BUSINESS! its not as simple as u ppl think… theres a lot more than 1+1 that goes on behind the scenes… pointless conversation.

  13. Its all about competition they charge what they can get based on the competitive atmosphere. As a consumer you have the final say not to buy it. If everyone would do it prices will drop. All this is called capitalism. Its whats supposed to make this country great but of course decades of liberals ruined most of it

  14. the most astonishing to me is the fruits and vegetable pricing.
    In Lakewood its two toTHREE times the price as many brooklyn stores.
    You can pay for a red pepper close to $3.00 each here while in Brooklyn you can get it for approximately $1.00 each and the list goes on and on….

  15. to “in there business” the multiple stores in lakewood that are the size of shop right have tremendous volume bigger probably than the brooklyn stores. so please .

  16. # 17, I understand why a store like Krm / Moishas gets such fabulous pricing. I also understand why the small grocery stores in Lakewood cannot afford to be competitive.Can u explain to me how Paperiffic , Golbergers, and Gourmet Glatt (individually owned stores in Brooklyn) also have such great pricing? I am sure that the large grocery stores in town buy at least as much volume as the Three stores mentioned above.

  17. I was reading the ads over the weekend and noticed a store in Brooklyn had mayonnaise on sale for $1.99 kosher l’Pesach!! Here in Lakewood it’s a minimum of $3.49, that’s a huge difference. Unfortunately the tolls have gotten so expensive to drive to Brooklyn that it doesn’t pay to shlep there to shop the big bargains anymore.

  18. the answer is that people in lakewood run on tight schedules and are not able to shop based on price, we have to do what is convenient so we get taken advantage of by the stores

  19. Why all the hate on the local stores why are pesach prices so rediculious? It’s been a question since the splitting of the sea. Why is pesach food triple the price? Why is matsah 22 dollars a pound? Just today I saw a guy buying just matsah at a local grocery store. He bought two boxes which came out to 46 dollars. I never saw someone so upset and so pained in buying a divar mitzvah. I have seen people pay 400 dollars for an esrog and I have seen people pay 12 dollars for a liter of olive oil etc.. But this guy had such a feeling that he was getting ripped off that he couldn’t be happy with the two pounds of matsah in his hand.
    The question is ……..can you blame him?

  20. Perhaps if we can put together groups of 15-20 families that would place orders in Brooklyn, (each family their own order, but with the same store) maybe it would be worth it for the Brooklyn stores to deliver in Lakewood.

  21. At on epoint there was a program in Lakewood before Pesach and Sukkos to buy things at cost price. Unfortunately the stores complained so now no one new is allowed to shop there.

  22. # 24, This may come as a surprise to you but people living in bklyn are also very busy….
    #28, When I lived in Bklyn I did not feel the need to join a program. I felt like I was “shopping well” and receiving fair and affordable pricing. There were always great sales available and I was able to stock up on sale items.
    Then I moved to Lakewood and I got the “grocery shock” of my life….
    Just for the record, I do not consider 10 cents off on dominoes brown sugar and 50% off of expired goods a sale worth mentioning.

  23. I think people are unreasonably beating up on the Lakewood stores.
    1)The Brooklyn stores use loss leaders (items that they sell at or below cost) in their ads to drum up business. Unless you are an astute shopper that buys only the loss leaders, the ads are not an accurate barometer of true pricing.

    2) The volume at KRM and the other big Brooklyn stores per square foot is incomparable to Lakewood due to Brooklyn’s unbelievable density which allows the stores to stay in business on thinner margins than even the large Lakewood stores.

    3)The Brooklyn stores tend to carry a broader selection of hashgachos especially when it comes to meat and chicken than the Lakewoos stores are willing to accept so Comparing prices pound for pound is not accurate. Additionally, the fact the Brooklyn stores can take in many other hashgochas gives them significant leverage with their suppliers so they can extract lower prices from them. The Lakewood stores are more limited and their main concern is having a relationship with their suppliers that ensures a reliable supply so they don’t have as much pricing leverage.
    5)In brooklyn, many shoppers tend to purchase almost all of their dry goods and perishables from the big Jewish stores, including high margin items so they can afford to make less profit on the other items.

    In Lakewood, many people tend to stock up on those goods at Shoprite, Walmart, Costco etc, and then come to the Jewish stores just for the low margin items. It’s illogical to expect them to take low margins on the only items you are coming to them for.

    So be happy with your $4 bottle of detergent at shoprite but realize that there are many factors that make the nature of the business very different here in Lakewood.

    A yungerman.

  24. Just reading all these sour comments makes me realize just how naive and clueless the average Lakewood Shopper is. The stores in NY ADVERTISE a few crazy specials and LOSS leaders to get you into the store. And it looks like they have hooked most of you people. Do yourself a favor. Shop a complete shopping for a few weeks in Lakewood and NY and you will see that overall you will spend LESS in Lakewood. Its a fact. Yeah of course if you just buy the few items that the store is not making a profit on you will pay less for those items. Brilliant. And to all the smart people who want delivery from NY. As soon as anyone with half a brain sees the cost of gas, tolls, vehicle maintenance etc.the delivery charge will end up astronomical. Don’t think for a half a second that the Lakewood store owners don’t pay more to get the goods here. Its silly to think that the companies don’t factor it in. It cost them too much. So everyone chill out and realize that unless you have the time to run and pick up only loss leaders you are doing just fine here.

  25. yup if krm amd moishes are soooooooo i say again soooooooo cheap im still trying to figure out how can pomagranate , golgbergs and laundaus make it? i went to those store and their prices are thru the roof!!!!!!!!!!! and dont tell me that your paying for the service!

  26. Its probably not a good idea to compare large supermarkets in Brooklyn to Lakewood. I dont think Krm and the other big ones offer credit. Most of Lakewood owes money to their grocer and its a viscous cycle. Which means the grocer has to charge more to survive.

  27. i spoke to the head of a large lakewood grocery:
    a lot of the warehouses are in new york making the prices for local stores cheaper
    most of the prices you see are just loss leaders, this large lakewood store does not do loss leaders

  28. btw how much credit do Lakewood sore owners give, ask them, hundreds of thousands. u guys are a bunch of fools!! stop being so self centered. enough said!!

    Please answer

  29. @reasonable
    The savvy shoppers in lkwd are going to shoprite/costco for the dry goods.. only because of the crazy high prices the locals charge. If it would be only a little more expensive, people would buy them locally, to save the hassle of double shopping. (Not to mention when stores here get involved with politics and discontinue a certain line of milk).
    For all you guys arguing about facts, why don’t you publish pricing of regular (non sale) items bklyn vs lkwd.

  30. JUST TO POST A SMALL COMMENT I OWEN A STORE IN LAKEWOOD I AM OWED OVER $1000000. IN BALANCES TO MY STORE SO IM JUST ASKING WHAT DO YOU WANT THE STORE TO DO IF WE ALL STOP TAKING CREDIT THEIR WILL BE A LOT OF FAMILY’S THAT CANT PUT FOOD ON THEIR TABLES WE MAY BUY THE FOOD AT THE SAME PRICE AS THE NY LARGE STORES BUT WE CANT AFFORD TO PUT OUT THOUS PRICES WITH SUCH A LAGER AMOUNT OF ACCOUNTS ALL THOSE STORES ARE C.O.D IT MAKES A HUGE DIFFERENCE IN THE PRICE

  31. I am originally from out of town and have been living in Lakewood for almost 2 years and I would just like to say that people in Lakewood should not be complaining that the cheese is two dollars more in Lakewood than in BP. Out of town, a brick of cheese could be $18!! I know some of you may say that this a town of Torah, but please, there are childrens clothing stores that sell a blouse for a 2 year old for $180. I am not saying that Lakewood is not an city of Torah but don’t say that people out of town (who by the way, may be rebbeim or in kollel) are working and since they are not learning they are rolling in money. They have just as many expenses as you (if not more) and the prices here are very fair. Everything balances out. In New York they have enormous taxes on clothing and the rent is very high (which we do not have here in Lakewood). Please think about that before you complain that the food prices are so high (and if it is so terrible for you than go to NY)

  32. I just want each of you to realize something. Some Lakewood storeowners are owed 100s of thousands of dollars in credit…literally. For your information SOME of the money that is owed is from regular families that you would not even believe cant afford to pay their bill. I know this as a fact! Its not something that could be argued about. These people for whatever the reason may be are finding themselves in a rough patch and cant afford to pay up their balance. DO NOT say they should get Tomchei Shabbos!! They at the moment are trying to make thing work…Which leads to the store owners not getting paid…which leads to the store owners not able to afford buying in the same quantity as ny grocerys… and so on and so forth.Its all one big domino affect. I am know for facts on paper that it all starts from people not paying their bills in a timely manner.

  33. #36 and #38
    so stop giving credit! instead of forcing people who do not have extra money to pay for those on credit, just stop the credit and create a tzedaka orginization like every other need in town such as ahavas tzedaka,tomchei shabbos etc.. there is a tzedaka for every need so those with means can pay for it. you are forcing people to pay tzadaka…

  34. To number 41, and what about those who are struggling, but still pay their bills. Who decides which people are worthy of being extended credit, and which ones aren’t. Don’t get me wrong, as long as a store is a private business and run as such, a store owner can do whatever he wants, it’s his business.

    However if another store opens up and decides to help the Tzibbur that pays their bills, by offering lower prices, and not extending credit, then he has the right to do so as well.

    there are different examples of where those who pay their bills are subsidizing those who don’t (tuition would be another example). The problem is that in some cases there is a very fine line between the financial situation of these people, and in some cases, those who pay their bills may have less money hen those who don’t, but they are more careful with their finances

  35. Number 35, no reason to call people fools, there are many people who are struggling that pay their bills. Just because someone pays their bills doesn’t mean they have money to spare.

  36. DID YOU NOT READ THE POST OF T says: HE RIGHTS VERY CLEARLY YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT YOUR NEIGHBOR OR EVEN YOUR BROTHER SISTER ITS VERY EASY TO SAY STOP BUT YOU ARE NOT TAKING A BOUT 100 OR 200 CUSTOMERS IF YOU PUT ALL STORES TO GATHER ITS IN THE THOUSANDS WILL YOU BE GIVING YOUR MASER TO THIS CHARITY OR WILL SOMEBODY HAVE TO GO DOOR TO DOOR TO PUT FOOD ON THEIR TABLE WHY DON’T YOU GO IN TO YOUR LOCAL GROCERY AND ASK HOW U CAN HELP THIS YOM TOVE INSTEAD OF COMPLAINING B’H YOU HAVE FOOD

  37. I cant beleve how selfish some people are cant fargin sombody to make a living I grew up in this town 40 years in back then youll take your coat off your back for your frend family or sombidy in this town now all u get is gref im realy sad

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