retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Mirror reports that in the UK, “Tesco has announced plans to scrap its price match guarantee next month to focus on own-brand prices instead.”

As currently constituted, the promotion “means that when you buy 10 or more products, the grocer will price match all branded goods if it's cheaper at Asda, Morrisons or Sainsbury's, to the maximum value of £20.” But the company is changing to a pledge “to ‘keep everyday prices low’ - with a greater focus on ‘straightforward value for money’.”

The story notes that “Tesco is currently mid-way through an overhaul dubbed 'Project Reset' that will see it boost own-brand lines and slash the number of suppliers it works with to improve efficiency. Just last week it emerged that thousands of big names are being stripped from stores as part of the shake up.

“The project will see it re-launch 10,000 of its own brand products, with 2,850 completed to date.”
KC's View:
This may not still be true, and the so-called rules may be different in the UK, but I can remember retailers telling me when I started out covering retail that moving back and forth between a high-low promotional strategy and an EDLP strategy is incredibly difficult, and a good way to lose faith with shoppers.

It may be, however, that Tesco is nervous about pending deal that would have Walmart selling a majority stake in Asda to Sainsbury. It is changing up its loyalty marketing rules, shutting down a general merchandise website that served as a distraction, and generally trying to get more specific and targeted in its approach. Not a bad thing to do, but I wonder if it all will leave shoppers’ heads spinning a bit.