More than a third of shoppers believe Tesco’s proposed merger with Booker will deliver better value for money, a new survey has found.

The supermarket giant is in the process of joining forces with Booker in a £3.7bn deal, which is subject to a probe by the Competition and Markets Authority.

Should it be given the go-ahead, the acquisition would see Tesco inherit Booker’s food service clients, including Byron, Prezzo and Wagamama, as well as its convenience fascias Budgens, Londis and Premier.

According to an ICM poll conducted exclusively for Retail Week, 35% of respondents believe that would result in better value for money for customers in the form of lower prices.

A fifth of shoppers said the merger would deliver “a little better” value for money, while 14% think it would drive “much better” value for money.

Only 12% said the deal would result in worse value for money for Budgens, Londis and Premier shoppers.

Competition concerns

Despite shoppers’ belief that the merger would improve value for money, a similar proportion of respondents said the deal would have an adverse effect on competition in the convenience sector.

Just under a third (29%) of those surveyed said the deal would be bad for competition, although 27% said it would have no impact.

A quarter of consumers thought the merger would be good for competition in the sector.

Loyalty to Tesco

Although some shoppers felt the merger would have an adverse impact on competition, more than two thirds of consumers insisted the deal would make no difference to their shopping habits as far as Tesco is concerned.

Some 68% said the acquisition would make no difference to whether or not they would shop at Tesco Express, while just 8% said the merger would make them less likely to shop at Tesco Express stores in the future.

Just over one in ten shoppers (14%) said they would be more likely to shop at Tesco Express should the proposed acquisition of Booker go ahead.

Methodology

The ICM poll surveyed 2,017 adults about the proposed Tesco-Booker merger.

It asked them three questions:

  • What do you think the merger would mean for the value for money shoppers get when shopping at Booker convenience store brands like Budgens and Londis?
  • To what extent do you think the Tesco and Booker merger would be good or bad for competition in the independent and convenience store market?
  • Would the merger between Tesco and Booker make you more or less likely to shop at Tesco Express in the future?