Tesco Express (2)

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Tesco has a wider pricing gap between its supermarkets and convenience stores than Sainsbury’s, according to new data seen by The Grocer.

The price gap between Tesco’s larger stores and its Express format was 10.4% in November, found a major price tracking survey carried out by ESA Retail.

That was higher than the 8.4% gap between Sainsbury’s supermarkets and its Local outlets over the same period.

The research also found the gap widened at both retailers month on month. In October, the gap between Tesco and Tesco Express was 10% while Sainsbury’s Local was 7.6% more expensive than Sainsbury’s supermarkets.

ESA tracked about 1,900 products across the Tesco formats and 2,100 lines in Sainsbury’s. The research recorded the base price of items and as such did not factor in general promotions or savings from Tesco’s Clubcard Prices, which the retailer said earlier this year was becoming a key focus in its Express stores.

“With household budgets under increasing pressure, we’re more committed than ever to giving our customers great value at Tesco, whether they shop with us online, in a large store, or in an Express store,” said a Tesco spokeswoman.

“Our Express stores offer a range of extremely competitive own-brand products and we have rolled out Clubcard Prices to all our Express stores. This helps millions of customers spend less through their Tesco Clubcard, with Clubcard Prices giving up to 50% off a wide range of products and helping customers collect points for money off their shopping.”

Health & beauty products had the biggest price difference at Tesco, coming out 14.1% more expensive in c-stores vs supermarkets. The narrowest price difference – 8.8% –was in beers, wines and spirits.

Sainsbury's Local

Sainsbury’s Local

At Sainsbury’s the biggest disparity was in ambient foods, with Locals 10.4% more expensive. Health & beauty lines, meanwhile, were just 5.1% more expensive in its convenience stores.

A Sainsbury’s spokeswoman said: “There may be price differences between convenience stores and supermarkets. This is because our Sainsbury’s Local stores are located in city or town centre locations and their operating costs, for example rent and rates, are higher.”

ESA Retail client service director Antony Francis said: “Whilst one of the key consumer coping methods is to shop ‘little and often’ managing their weekly spend, they have the choice to pay the price of convenience or travel further to find a bargain.”