Marks & Spencer this week hit back at claims by John Lewis that Waitrose is 10% cheaper.

John Dixon, M&S’s director of food, said he was surprised at John Lewis’s chairman Charlie Mayfield’s comments. M&S products cost the same or less than at Waitrose, he said. Dixon said M&S measured and compared its prices on a basket of 546 food products every month. In August the total cost of this basket was the same as Waitrose, he claimed.

Of the 546 products, 260 were equivalent to Waitrose’s own-label products and when the prices of these products were compared, M&S emerged 6% cheaper, Dixon added. Announcing John Lewis’ results last week, Mayfield claimed a survey showed Waitrose was cheaper than Aldi on five out of 25 products, and was also 10% cheaper than M&S.