As Asda lowers prices on specific lines which shoppers go to Aldi for, Retail Week looks at how the major grocers are attempting to prevent their customers heading to the discounter.
The UK’s largest grocer embarked on an ill-fated campaign to become ‘Britain’s biggest discounter’ in 2008 as Aldi and Lidl’s growth first began to motor. However, it failed to capture consumers’ imaginations, as well as being slammed by the Advertising Standards Authority after a complaint by Aldi, and has taken a more measured approach to enticing discount custom ever since.
The retailer relaunched its iconic Tesco Value range last year as Everyday Value and has also introduced £1 aisles for bargain conscious customers.
Asda chief executive Andy Clarke told Retail Week that Asda has lowered the prices of specific lines it believes its weekly shoppers go to Aldi for. Asda declined to disclose which lines, but fresh produce and meat lines are understood to be among those targeted.
The grocer also introduced its Price Lock promotional campaign earlier this year, promising it would keep the price of essential items low, and Clarke has revealed his intention for Asda to be “Britain’s biggest pound shop”.
Aldi has attracted middle class shoppers in droves looking for low-priced, specialty items. But Sainsbury’s chief executive Justin King told Retail Week this week that the grocer’s “universal appeal” offers enough to prevent its core market heading to the German discounter.
He said: “We aim to offer universal appeal so if you are driven by discounts then you can come and do a shop and buy Basics and spend less money than you would in a discounter. And you do that with all our values to boot such as Fairtrade. Different points of our offer compete more directly with certain retailers and as we have a wide cross section coming to us every week we will always deliver universal appeal.”
Sainsbury’s Live Well For Less campaign also intends to assure its customer both of its health and nutrition, as well as its value.
Morrisons has put a focus on value in an attempt to win back shopper spend as like-for-likes have declined over the last year. The grocer was able to distance itself from the horsemeat scandal, in which Aldi was among the worst affected, and capitalised on it with a series of adverts, fronted by TV presenters Ant and Dec, proclaiming its fresh meat credentials. Moreover, its Pick of the Street ads have further played on its low priced, fresh offer.
A Morrisons spokesman told Retail Week that it is fighting hard on price against its rivals. “We are managing both our standard and promotional offerings on core essentials such as eggs, milk and bread to ensure that our basket price is extremely competitive,” he said.