A new round of reductions by Tesco Ireland, described as "the largest price blitz yet", has triggered off a huge row in the I£6.6bn Irish grocery market. The Musgrave SuperValu-Centra chain, with some 500 outlets across the Republic, has dismissed the Tesco claim as hype, and accused it of issuing "exaggerated statements about price cuts to try to win back shoppers" and rescue what it calls "a below par sales performance". Tesco spokesman Dermot Breen said the latest round of cuts covered some 200 items in the chain's 77 Irish stores, with average price reductions of 14%. About half of the reductions relate to Tesco own labels, but several brands are also included. "We have cut well over 500 prices during the past year," claimed Breen, "and most of these cuts have been sustained in store." But Eoin McGettigan, executive chairman of Musgrave SuperValu-Centra, disputed this. "All that Tesco is doing," he said, "is temporarily reducing the price of a handful of low value, low volume items ­ the majority of which are UK imports and very few of which are brand leaders. "It's just a standard supermarket promotion that they're trying to present as something exceptional. SuperValu and Centra would have over 300 grocery items on price promotion at any one time, most of them leading brands. "We attribute Tesco's tactics to the fact that its sales performance is below par." {{NEWS }}