Asda ramps up supermarket price war

ASDA yesterday upped the ante in the supermarket wars by announcing its biggest round of price cuts in a decade.

The supermarket said it was slashing the price of one in five of its products by an average of 13 per cent. The move comes after Tesco last week promised customer savings of more than £280m through 12,000 special offers on its groceries. Asda said its January price cuts will affect 3,600 branded and own-label staples including potatoes, bananas, milk, bread, cheese and nappies. The supermarket said the “vast majority” of the cuts would last at least six to 12 weeks, saying customer feedback showed a thirst for long-term reductions rather than short-lived promotions.

Supermarkets have reacted aggressively to woo recession-hit consumers amid competition from discount food retailers such as Aldi and Lidl.

But Asda’s management warned the industry risked “being tarred with the same brush as the banks” unless it became more transparent in its pricing. Chief merchandising officer Darren Blackhurst said: “People are sick and tired of being tricked and deceived by dodgy claims and bogus BOGOFs (buy-one-get-one-free).”