Sainsbury’s to join price match battle

Kasmira Jefford
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SAINSBURY’S will turn up the heat this week in the price war between the UK’s leading supermarkets with a pledge to match thousands of prices at rivals Tesco and Asda.

The supermarket announced yesterday that it will start its “brand match” campaign this Wednesday, just two weeks after Tesco launched a £500m “Big Price Drop” that cut the prices on 3,000 everyday grocery products.

Sainsbury’s has installed a price comparison system at its tills that will instantly calculate the cost of 1,300 branded items – such as Hellmann’s Mayonnaise and Fairy Liquid – against the same brands at Asda and Tesco.

If the basket is cheaper at its rivals, Sainsbury’s customers will get a coupon for the difference that is valid for two weeks on their next shop. The minimum spend is £20.

This will rival Asda’s scheme, which asks customers to go onto the website and enter details of their receipt before they can print off coupons.

“This is the only scheme that gives customers a reward instantly,” a spokesperson for Sainsbury’s said. “It is about reaffirming to our customers just how competitive we are on price.”

The battle to lure shoppers has become increasingly fierce as economic uncertainty, wage freezes and high inflation take their toll on household budgets.

Tesco last week reported its weakest six-monthly UK sales in what it called the most “challenging retail market we have seen for a generation”.

Waitrose, the upmarket chain, has also joined in the promotional battle, launching its “1000s of ways to great value” campaign. It will send out 10 per cent discount cards to new customers this week.