Waitrose pick your own offers logo slogan

Waitrose has been attracting plaudits for its innovative Pick Your Own offers initiative. Industry watchers claim it has taken the personalisation of deals to a new level and that Waitrose has managed to set itself apart from the crowd in this area.

It has also ploughed its own furrow in terms of the number of deals it is offering in-store. Waitrose is the only one of the six leading supermarkets to have decreased the number of deals in featured space during the past four weeks compared with last year, according to the latest figures from promotions experts Assosia.

Waitrose ran 1,184 deals in featured space in the four weeks to 9 August. While this was on a par with the number it ran in the preceding four weeks, it was 4.3% fewer than it ran in the same period a year ago.

Assosia MD Kay Staniland suggests Pick Your Own Offers means Waitrose can now be more targeted in its promotions - which could explain the deal decrease. “The introduction of Waitrose’s Pick Your Own promotional campaign offers Waitrose a bit more flexibility in the products it displays in the primary locations usually reserved for promotional activity,” she says.

Sainsbury’s was once more the heaviest promoter, with a total of 2,940 deals in featured space. Though this was down 24 on last month it was still 370 more offers than Tesco’s 2,570 - the second-highest number.

Staniland says the big retailers will have had their work cut out in terms of their chilled promotions over the past few weeks. Traditionally a big period for BBQ-related deals, the retailers will have been busy tweaking their offers as the weather remained consistently inconsistent.

“The great British weather is always a challenge at this time of year. While most promotional activity is planned many weeks and months in advance, retailers will switch promotions for shorter periods when the weather changes,” she explains.

“The chilled category is the most greatly affected as it has more limited space than ambient. BBQ meats/poultry will appear for short periods ahead of the weekend when the weather is looking good, only to be replaced by other chilled items once the weekend is over or the weather turns.”