Tesco steps up assault with more price cuts

Kasmira Jefford
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TESCO yesterday launched a fresh round of price cuts and slashed its online shopping charges as it steps up its efforts to stop customers defecting to its discount rivals.

The retailer dropped prices on over 30 products yesterday including bacon, sugar, broccoli and some of its bread ranges.

The price of six Tesco free-range medium eggs, for example, will fall from £1.38 to £1 while Tesco’s baked beans in tomato sauce drop from 45p to 32p.

It is also introducing free click-and-collect on grocers across the UK while some one hour home delivery slots will now available for £1 for orders over £25.

The move comes after the supermarket last week revealed a second year of falling profits and a three per cent fall in fourth quarter like-for-like sales – the weakest quarterly sales so far under chief executive Philip Clarke’s reign.

Analysts and investors have become increasingly impatient over Tesco’s flagging performance.

However Clarke has insisted his “bold” plan to rebuild the company was working and vowed to see it through, dismissing reports that he was under pressure to step down.

He pledged to invest more than the £200m outlined in February on cutting prices while also announcing plans to step up store revamps in the UK.

A Tesco spokesperson declined to say whether the latest round of cuts formed part of the £200m of investment earmarked in February or part of the further unquantified amount in revealed last week.

The supermarket chain’s rivals are also cutting prices, raising fears of a price war. Morrisons said in March it would invest £1bn in price cuts over three years to win back customers, while Asda said last year it would spend £1bn over five years.