The multiples are drawing their battle lines for non food this Christmas as the race for a bigger share of consumers’ gift budget is on.
All the major chains have launched a fresh assault on the high street as well as on each other, bombarding shoppers with TV and press ads for everything from MP3 players and mobile phones to home entertainment and clothing lines.
In addition, Asda has stepped up its activity in the furniture market with the launch of a home delivery catalogue.
The majority of the supermarkets’ press ads are focusing on either non food or alcohol deals and the money being spent on advertising has soared.
Research carried out exclusively for The Grocer by Nielsen Media Research shows that press expenditure by the leading five grocery retailers increased by more than 10% to £1.97m for the week commencing November 14.
Asda more than doubled its spend to
£468,000 while Morrisons increased its budget by almost 50% to £417,000 last week.
Morrisons has also targeted shoppers with a glossy 24-page brochure.
Meanwhile, Asda’s attempts to become a bigger player in the home furnishing market have included increasing its superstore offering as well as trialling a catalogue at its new Living store in Thurrock. The 42,000 sq ft Living store has themed rooms set up to display its range of self-assemble furniture and the catalogue offers customers home delivery of a wider range of made-to-order items.
A spokesman for Asda said: “The catalogue gives us an extra 350 sq ft of selling space for 55 large pieces of furniture. We have only launched it in our Thurrock store, but if it is successful it will be pushed out to other stores.”
Asda already had a limited range of furniture in 21 supercentres.