We recorded wide differences between retailers in terms of the variety of products stocked, with 119 different skus on offer on average. One in eight of these (12%) was on promotion - which is typical.
Morrisons stands out for two reasons. First, it has the smallest range of products on offer, half the retailer average. Second, it appears to have been caught out by consumer demand during busy times. We recorded 26% of promotional lines at risk of being off sale and 25% of standard lines also found to be low on stock.
Safeway fascia stores had nearly three times the variety of products offered by Morrisons, plus the best availability. Safeway was low on only 4% of non-promoted lines and 13% of promotional lines - either good category management or low sales.
Sainsbury offers its customers the second largest range of products, although at the same time it has the fewest skus on promotion - only 6% of the category. With so few products on promotion, it was not a surprise to find 27% of promotional products at risk of being out of stock. In contrast, only 6% of standard lines suffered from poor availability - supporting the view that Sainsbury’s shoppers do like a special offer after all.
Somerfield peak-time availability issues affect nearly a quarter of its promotional lines, with 24% of skus at risk. Only 9% of normal lines were similarly at risk, which is evidence of the increased demand for promotions.
With 16% of the category on some value-based offer, Asda has the most products on promotion. Its ability to meet consumer demand at peak periods for this category is consistent with many of its other categories with 13% of normal lines and 24% of promotional skus either low or out of stock. Tesco has good variety (115 skus) and a higher than average number on promotion (13%). Only 9% of promotional skus and 13% of normal skus are at risk.