Tesco takes the gloves off as Christmas price war hots up

Britain&rsquo;s biggest retailer Tesco has launched its most aggressive Christmas discount drive, designed to blow its upmarket rivals out of the water.<br /><br />The supermarket giant is slashing the prices of more than 200 products in its Finest range in a bid to stop shoppers defecting to Waitrose and Marks &amp; Spencer for luxury food treats. Offers include halving the price of a lobster thermidor to &pound;10 and slashing the price of puddings. The promotions will be backed by a high-profile TV campaign.<br /><br />The savage assault on the high street is part of the retailer&rsquo;s efforts to cling on to customers. The group saw its first market share growth in almost two years in the 12 weeks to 1 November, according to the latest TNS Worldpanel figures, after it re-launched its loyalty Clubcard with double points. <br /><br />Last week it also made an unprecedented move to bring forward February&rsquo;s release of money-off coupons for clubcard holders &ndash; amounting to a potential saving of &pound;67m. Analysts expect a three per cent hike in like-for-like sales as the revival of price-war tactics seems to be working for Tesco.