U.K. 'supermarket wars' heat up
April 28, 2010
by Bryan Salvage
LEEDS, U.K. – Competition is heating up for food retailers in the United Kingdom as Asda, Walmart's U.K. retail operation, has launched its 'Asda Price Guarantee' (A.P.G.) that is being touted as is “a cast-iron promise to shoppers that it cannot, and will not, be beaten on price.” If shoppers can purchase a basket of eight or more comparable products cheaper elsewhere, the retailer will give them the difference, plus a penny more for good measure.
The launch of the Asda Price Guarantee is being heralded as the official end of the grocery-price war between all the major supermarkets, and covers over 13,000 branded and own-brand products, as well as items on promotion.
Activating the A.P.G. is a three-step process.
• Customers do their regular shop at Asda and keep the receipt.
• After 9 a.m. the next day, shoppers go to www.asda.com/priceguarantee to enter their receipt details to see how much their grocery shop would have cost at the other supermarkets.
• If they'd have paid less elsewhere, then Asda will give them a printable voucher for the difference, plus one penny that can be redeemed against their next Asda shop.
This marks the first time a supermarket is using the power of the web to guarantee its prices cannot be beaten, the company claims. The price-checker is powered by, and built by, mysupermarket.co.uk, guaranteeing its independence. It will also be available to grocery shoppers at www.asda.com.
Asda has been able to launch the A.P.G. because most items bought by shoppers in its stores are identical to those available at competitor supermarkets. Mysupermarket.co.uk will compare like-for-like branded or own-label groceries, accounting for around 70% of all grocery sales at Asda. Approximately 10% of products at Asda are unique to the store and therefore are not included in the price checker. However, an additional 20% could be comparable but not without changes to strict trading standards regulations.
Price reductions and promotions are included, but promotions such as "buy strawberries and get cream free" are excluded due to the difficulty in making fair comparisons. Products can only be compared if there are like-for-like products at all of the competitor supermarkets.
Mysupermarket.co.uk has also stipulated no products that have a pack size difference of more than 10% can be compared.
Customers have 28 days to check the price of their shop from the date of purchase. If they qualify for a money-off coupon, they must redeem it at any Asda store within 28 days of issue. Non-grocery categories are not currently covered in the Asda Price Guarantee
Customers will not be able to claim a refund for more than 25 pounds in any month nor make more than 10 claims in any month per household. If they have returned any items that are on their receipt, they will not be able to compare prices for those items.