Tesco ends Double Points and cuts prices

Tesco is taking a step back from loyalty driven marketing by ending its Double Points Clubcard promotion and announcing £500m worth of price cuts in a move that could trigger a fresh price war amongst the supermarkets.

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The supermarket confirmed “The Big Price Drop”, which will see more than 3,000 products such as milk, bread, fruit and vegetables reduced in price from Monday (26 September).

It will also reduce the price of more than 1,000 of its own brand products, which it claims makes its own labels up to 50% cheaper than branded alternatives.

Tesco says it will have fewer promotions and will simplify its promotional structure to focus on “clear and reliable” prices and in a bid to “give customers a more straightforward shop”.

The supermarket says the decision to end Double Points in favour of price cuts is in response to a survey of 200,000 customers and families around the country and analysis of Clubcard data.

In a statement, the supermarket says: “People are saying they need more help with the cost of living. With rising utility bills and soaring petrol prices, families are having to cut back on the staples, not just the extras”.

It claims that more than 80% of the population are finding their household budget squeezed, based on evidence from The Office of Budget Responsibility. Consumer confidence slipped to a four month low in August, and is only marginally above the all time low reported in February, according to the Nationwide Index.

Customers will now get one Clubcard point per pound spent, instead of the two under Double Points, but Tesco claims that it is also increasing the value of Clubcard rewards by improving the exchange rate for some of its reward partners such as Pizza Express and Strada.

Tesco’s announcement could trigger price cuts at rival supermarkets because Sainsbury’s, Ocado and Asda all promise to match Tesco on prices, or return the difference.

Tesco UK chief executive Richard Brasher says: “Across the country families are telling us the same thing – their budgets are under real pressure. They want more help today to afford everyday essentials. We have listened carefully and for families facing hard times and looking for genuine savings.

“Clubcard is an important thank-you for customers. They enjoy being rewarded for their loyalty with Clubcard points they can spend later. But they’re saying very clearly in these difficult times, that they also want more immediate savings at the checkout.”

To push the price cuts, Tesco will run an advertising campaign under the strapline: “The Big Price Drop on the Nation’s Shopping List”.

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