Waitrose has begun a drive designed to cut the cost of shopping in its stores.

The plan was announced to 200 store managers at a conference last week by MD Steven Esom, who said the retailer was planning changes to its pricing and promotional structure.

This week, Waitrose, regularly the most expensive in The Grocer 33, said it was now checking the price of more than 350 items against its competitors each week.

This was to ensure its customers were getting "good value for money".

The Grocer Price Index indicates this price promise is already filtering through.The cost of our 100-item basket of goods, on which the Index is based, has fallen by £4.16 at Waitrose since December. Only Tesco's prices have fallen by more over the same period.

"We have worked to ensure our prices are competitive and have invested in this area - resulting in the fact that our pricing has improved in relation to several of our competitors," said a spokeswoman.