Belfast Telegraph

Consumers win as supermarkets price war heats up

By Claire McNeilly

Hard-pressed families in Northern Ireland will reap the benefits of an imminent price war between the major supermarkets, it can be revealed.

The news comes after it emerged that Tesco is set to embark upon its biggest ever offensive, with the launch of a massive price-cutting initiative.

It comes in response to the worst squeeze on shoppers’ spending in recent history — and the fact consumers are buying less food to compensate for rising grocery and fuel prices.

Tesco is said to be getting ready to slash £500 million off food across its UK stores from Monday, with managers being told to go in this weekend in preparation.

Food prices are 6.2% higher than a year ago and the family budget has taken a battering. As families struggle to make ends meet, 40% of items purchased are comprised of supermarket special offers — up from a historical average of 25%.

Donald McFetridge, a leading retail expert based at the University of Ulster, said this was an important development in the middle of a recession.

“The big supermarkets know it is more important than ever to be seen to be offering customers their best deals,” said Mr McFetridge.

Retail analysts claim a hi-tech promotion by Sainsbury’s in Northern Ireland at present could have triggered this unprecedented supermarket price war.

From last month the store has been using ‘brand match’ technology that checks the prices of branded goods at other chains.

If it transpires the cost of the basket of goods would be cheaper elsewhere, the customer gets a voucher equalling the difference.

The Tesco juggernaut has already weighed in saying it will accept the Sainsbury’s vouchers in its stores. Asda is understood to be considering installing booths with internet links so customers can check its online guarantees.

Background

Tesco’s market share slipped to 30.4% from 30.8% in the three months to September 4, according to retail analysts Kantar as cash-strapped consumers shop around for deals. Tesco will cover price cuts by slashing multi-buy promotions and scrapping its double Clubcard points reward offer, meaning the scheme will revert to one point for every pound spent.

SHOPPING LIST

Nestle Shreddies (750g)
£3.18@Tesco, £2.69@Sainsbury’s and £2.88@Asda

Daz (25 washes)
£4@Tesco, £5@Sainsbury’s and £5.09@Asda

Nescafe Gold Blend (300g)
£8.98@Tesco, £8.98@Sainsbury’s and £6@Asda

Dairylea cheese traingles (8)
£0.99@Tesco, £0.99@Sainsbury’s and £1.28@Asda

Beef lean mince steak (500g)
£2.98@Tesco, £3.05@Sainsbury’s and £3.30@Asda

TOTAL COST:

Tesco = £21.48
Sainsbury’s = £22.77
Asda = £18.97

(source mysupermarket.co.uk)

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph