By Tim Danaher

This week's issue sums up the battle of the supermarkets perfectly. Tesco is coming up with yet more initiatives to widen the gulf between itself and its rivals, while the others struggle at various stages of their fightback plans.

Among the most interesting of the week's developments is the revelation that Asda has shifted away from its Every Day Low Price (EDLP) philosophy, which has formed the basis of Wal-Mart's UK strategy. EDLP has succeeded in ensuring that Asda usually comes out on top in surveys to find the cheapest grocer. But it is no longer succeeding in getting customers to recognise what good value they're getting.

Bombarded by price-cutting, whether in food or non-food, shoppers have come to take EDLP for granted. And while Asda is cheap, its problem is that today so is everybody else, whether it be rival supermarkets or high street fashion retailers competing with the George range.

While introducing dozens of multi-buy offers is an obvious move for Asda, the bigger question it needs to answer is whether having a reputation for low prices is enough for the company to cement its position as number two supermarket, in the face of a resurgent Sainsbury's.

The value-driven end of retail is crowded. If Asda continues to talk only about price, it will never achieve Tesco's feat of being a supermarket that affluent suburban housewives feel as comfortable shopping at as single mums on council estates.