Monday, 6 October 2008

Tesco - Britain's Biggest Discounter

Tesco's latest shot at Asda - Full page Sun advert on Friday

Supermarkets are increasingly desperate to show their price-cutting credentials. Tesco has re-styled itself 'Britain's Biggest Discounter' in a swipe at the likes of Aldi and Lidl and I've noticed its begun to dedicate some of its instore shelf-edge price comparisons to showing how it matches or beats prices at its down-market rivals.

But last Friday's double page spread in the Sun newspaper defies any credit crunch logic. Attempting to prove Tesco is cheaper than Asda (and you get Clubcard points too) it reproduces two till receipts showing the weekly shop. Tesco's trolley of 62 items at £101.31 is £1.78 cheaper than the identical items at Asda.

But Tesco must be off their trolley if this is their idea of a recession sized shop. The imagined shopper has spent more than 10% of the weekly food budget on hair dye, one for him, one for her. I suppose it must be the worrying times...

Just for Men hair colourant (£5.47)
Nice n' easy extra light beige blonde 97 (£4.67)

Tesco beats Asda on 12 of its self-selected comparisons. The
biggest single difference is 35p for a bottle of Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce, followed by 26p for a Soft and Gentle roll-on deodorant, right down to a 1p difference on Wash & Go shampoo (they love hair care at Tesco).

Of course Tesco aren't really expecting us to digest the entire list of curious items (8 litres of Coca Cola £4.77 - almost 5% of the weekly shop) they just
want us to go away with the impression shopping that with them is cheaper than at Asda, oh and you get Clubcard points too - one pound and a penny worth in future savings. Many of these comparison ads prompt complaints from rivals to the Advertising Standards Authority who investigate and tell the supermarkets not to run them in that form again, by then the ad is long gone.

As the very small print at the bottom of P2 of the double page ad discloses Tesco only issues Clubcard Vouchers once the quarterly reward equals £1.50. So this single trip to Britain's Biggest Discounter would not produce the promised £1.01 saving unless followed by further spend. There you are Asda, perhaps some grounds for complaint...

Apologies for the recent break in posts following my US trip. Be assured my Adventures in Consumerland have continued. Shortly I'll post some surprising news about an extended warranty complaint...

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