Asda isn't shy when it comes to telling the country all about its deals. But how promotion-happy is it really? James Ball deciphers the figures

Asda's in-store pricing strategy doesn't live up to the promises of its pocket-slapping promo-stuffed ads, The Grocer's new monthly retail promotions tracker has revealed. The new adverts trumpet its round pound and three-for-a-tenner deals, suggesting it's the place to go for customers who like to buy on promotion.

But the figures show that where it counts - on shelf - Asda has stuck with its tried-and-tested Every Day Low Prices. Although it remains top in terms of lowest average item price or basket price and has won all but one of this year's weekly G33 pricing surveys, the retailer lags a long way behind its big four rivals when it comes to promotional activity.

Despite increasing the number of featured-space offers almost 40% year-on-year, Asda has more than 250 fewer deals than its nearest big four rival. It is also the retailer offering the smallest typical saving, whether measured by cash or by percentage. And although Asda doesn't use bogof deals, generally customers have to buy more items to trigger its deals than at any other tracked retailer.

"Asda appears to be offering a more limited range of products than the other major multiples," said Assosia MD Kay Staniland. "In its continued fight to remain the cheapest supermarket, its every day low price points seem to be taking precedence over higher profile promotional deals.

"In the constantly-changing promotional arena, Asda may well find that its own consumer base will start to again demand a more varied promotional offering on these high profile areas."

Asda wasn't alone, though, in one aspect of its promotional strategy. All the big four retailers have more brands in featured space than they did this time last year - a reversal of a big shift to own label, which reached its peak when Tesco placed its discounter range right across the power aisle.

"Selling featured space slots to brands is a solid moneyspinner for the retailers, so putting own label here costs," said Staniland. "Given everyone is trimming sails, it's not a big surprise to see them moving the brands back in."