Sainsbury’s opens price war against discounters

Sainsbury’s is hitting back at European discounters Ed and Lidl with price cuts in two areas of the UK.

Seven Sainsbury’s stores in Bournemouth and others in Nottingham are cutting prices by up to a fifth on 15 own-label and branded products such as Flora, Kellogg’s Cornflakes, Tetley’s tea bags and Heinz baked beans.

The price cuts are on trial for a limited period in the two regions but could be used in other parts of the country to take on rivals Tesco and Safeway.

The move revives a price-cutting initiative that existed before the Essential for the Essentials push launched 18 months ago.

One observer suggests selective or regional pricing could replace Essentials as Sainsbury’s phases it out.

He believes the retailer may be seeking an alternative to Essentials, which has been downgraded in the stores, with the number of brands cut from 300 to 120 (MW January 6).

A leading retail analyst adds Sainsbury’s is likely to phase out Essentials over two to three years.

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