Sainsbury’s drops Tesco from Brand Match to focus on Asda

Sainsbury’s is to focus its Brand Match offering onto Asda, dropping its comparisons with Tesco and introducing its rival’s green colour on signage in stores, effective from 2 October.

Sainsbury's

Sainsbury’s price-matching will now only compare prices to Asda because it is seen as the market leader on price. Sainsbury’s will also introduce Asda’s green into its stores in order to hammer home the pricing point.

The Brand Match scheme sees shoppers get coupons at the till if they pay more on branded goods during a shop than they would have done at a competitor’s store.

Speaking to Marketing Week, Sainsbury’s marketing director Sarah Warby says the aim is not to be provocative. She says its customers know Sainsbury’s is competitive on price, particularly against Tesco, but what surprises them is that more than half the time Sainsbury’s is cheaper than Asda for a branded shop.

“We’re changing Brand Match to simplify it and make it only against Asda because that’s the bit that floats customers’ boats. We have a really good news story for our customers that surprises them because it’s a different expectation, so why wouldn’t we draw that comparison deliberately? We aren’t setting out to poke anyone in the eye but sometimes you have to use a benchmark otherwise the story just gets really complicated,” she adds.

Warby admits using Asda green is “quite a big deal” but says she doesn’t expect it to provoke much of a reaction from Asda, beyond the “normal day-to-day competition that we already have”.

Asda’s tactics have been attracting interest from rivals because of its relative success – the supermarket was the only one of the big four supermarkets to enjoy sales growth in the 12 weeks to 14 September, according to latest Kantar data. Asda’s focus on “every day low prices” has been adopted by Morrisons, which uses the phrase in stores.

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