TAKE note, Tesco. Britain’s biggest supermarket, which is expected to post a drop in like-for-like sales of around 1.5 per cent on Wednesday, has been caught napping by Lidl and its discount peers in recent months.
Tesco has rolled out extra price cuts and special offers as it tries to win back the market share eaten away by Lidl, Iceland and Aldi, but this is likely to come at the expense of its margins, unless suppliers are made to take the hit.
Lidl’s UK boss Ronny Gottschlich got the reason for this market shift exactly right yesterday, despite the oddly specific creation that is the Maidstone Mum. Buying off-brand goods to save cash is no longer seen as embarrassing; asking customers to pay for carrier bags is a stamp of green kudos rather than penny-pinching.
And Tesco, like its Big Four brethren, for all their hyperbole about price-matching – they can’t beat the discounters on value.