It seems strange that the mighty Tesco should be worried about a competitor that is just a fraction of its size. Yet this week the grocer launched its biggest package of money-saving measures since it launched its iconic Value range 15 years ago.

Tesco’s Discounter range aims to ensure shoppers have all their product needs under one roof. The grocer doesn’t want shoppers going to Aldi or Lidl, even for a limited shop.

The new range spans an enormous number of products. Not only are there 350 new items under the Discount Brands at Tesco label – the likes of Oatland Oaties biscuits and Daisy Washing Up Liquid – there are also hundreds of price cuts on existing Tesco and branded products.

The range also includes what it calls Great Value Special Buys, encompasses everything from stationery to printers and irons. The prices for these non-food buys are mouth-watering – a double duvet and two pillows for£10, an HP Printer for£19.97 and a 22 piece screwdriver set for£3.

These special buys are what discounters Aldi and Lidl are famous for. They change their weekly buys each week with headline-grabbing products such as TVs, paddling pools and even bicycles. And if Tesco’s special buys take off, the range will inevitably be extended and local stores could well have the same special buys as their discount competitors.

The discount grocers only have a market share of about 6 per cent and Tesco is unlikely to see much of a drop off in customers to these grocers as shoppers trade down. It’s probably more likely the more upmarket supermarkets are losing out to the discounters.

Yet Tesco understands just how important discounters are in the shopping landscape. Just yesterday, crowds of eager shoppers swamped the opening of a Lidl in Southall to get their hands on a bargain. While Lidl played down the stampede, some shoppers came away with minor injuries and security guards closed the main doors as the thronging crowd knocked down promotional stands. A police officer was even posted to the area after the fracas.

Such excitement is only ever seen when shoppers really believe they are getting a bargain. And while Tesco may have cheaper products than some of those in the discounters’ stores, just the very fact that they are called “discounters” is embedded in shoppers’ psyches.

Whether Tesco will pull off its mission to be Britain’s biggest discounter is not yet known, but what is known is that it probably won’t give up trying.