Tesco is continuing to try and promote its way out of trouble while some of its rivals are keeping their festive promotional powder dry until the madness of Black Friday has subsided.
These are the key trends to emerge from the latest figures on supermarket deals, compiled for The Grocer by promotions experts Assosia.
In the four weeks to 16 November, Tesco was the only one of the six leading UK grocery retailers to increase the number of featured space deals both month on month and year on year. Tesco ran a total of 2,795 deals - 217 more than Sainsbury’s, which ran the second-highest number.
Tesco’s average saving of £1.88 was 0.5% less than during the previous four-week period and 4.7% lower than a year ago. However, Assosia managing director Kay Staniland says the average start price for deals at Tesco of £4.92 suggests the retailer is now looking to tempt shoppers with deals on higher-end products.
This start price was higher than all of its rivals with the exception of Waitrose (£6.40). During the period, spirits made up 6.2% of all of Tesco’s offers compared with just 0.7% at Asda, which had an average start price on deals of £3.01.
“The Tesco fightback seems to be truly underway with the retailer continuing to increase the number of offers and space allocated to promotions,” says Staniland.
Although not all retailers were actively taking part in this week’s Black Friday bonanza, Staniland suggests retailers have been collectively holding their breath for the chaos to subside before really ramping up their festive deals.
“The continued rise of participation in the Black Friday event does mean some of the retailers will hold back some of the featured/secondary space locations or simply not update their current offers, as this will need to be utilised for Black Friday - a short but frantic period of stock in and out,” she says.
“As soon as the event is over, we can be sure to see a marked increase in the number of offers from all retailers both month on month and year on year. EDLP works most of the year round, but when it comes to Christmas, everyone wants to be seen to offer the best and shoppers want more deals on big names.”