Asda is planning to take on rival supermarkets’ loyalty schemes with a campaign called “Value Cannonball”, which launches on March 3.
The campaign will concentrate on prices and emphasise that, unlike rival grocers with loyalty schemes, savings at Asda are immediate and shoppers do not need to wait to redeem points on loyalty cards.
It is understood the campaign will include discounts on own-label products and some branded goods. It is thought the own-label price cuts are intended to neutralise the effects of Kwik Save’s quality own-label range, which will launch in the spring.
There has been speculation that the Asda price cuts could be equivalent to one per cent off gross margins. But some analysts are sceptical of this as it implies an investment of about 60m of profits and would need an increase in sales of up to 350m to pay for it.
Asda refuses to comment on whether such a scheme exists, but a spokesman says: “We have a strong position on value – we believe our loyalty is in the till receipt. If we were looking at prices, our position is that we offer value today, not promises tomorrow.”
The existence of the scheme indicates that Asda is unlikely to pursue the national launch of its loyalty card, which is being tested in 20 stores. In addition, the chain is believed to have pulled out of talks to launch its own financial services. It was talking to the Royal Bank of Scotland, which has now teamed up with rival Tesco.