Asda launches price cuts as discount war hots up

ASDA has raised the stakes in the Christmas price war by slashing &pound;150m from the price of products in a discount drive designed to put pressure on its rivals.<br /><br />Asda, which has based its marketing on being the cheapest of the big four supermarkets, said consumers were still unwilling to part with cash.<br /><br />A day after Sainsbury&rsquo;s predicted a &ldquo;feisty&rdquo; price battle to lure spendthrift shoppers, Tesco waded into the fray with a promise to provide &pound;250m in discounts, including a &pound;6 Christmas turkey.<br /><br />The focus of much of Asda&rsquo;s discounting will be in non-food items, like technology, including games, TVs and DVDs.<br /><br />Asda&rsquo;s chief financial officer Judith McKenna said: &ldquo;We believe this will be the most competitive Christmas for a decade.&rdquo;<br /><br />McKenna said: &ldquo;Potential tax hikes and public sector job cuts are making people more than a little nervous.&rdquo;<br /><br />Asda, the UK&rsquo;s second largest supermarket group after Tesco, has every reason to up the ante, revealing like-for-like sales growth had sagged in the three months to September 30, dropping to 5.7 per cent from 7.2 per cent in the second quarter.<br />