When Asda launched the Asda Price Guarantee in 2010, it claimed the pioneering mechanic would guarantee its shoppers the lowest prices in the market. Patently, that’s no longer true.
The five-year rise of the discounters has changed the grocery landscape and wreaked havoc on Asda’s price credentials, laid bare by this week’s Grocer 33 - Lidl’s basket came in 19.6% cheaper.
Now Asda is having a rethink. Aldi and Lidl aren’t the only reasons why. Sainsbury’s and Tesco both launched similar schemes cleverer than Asda’s. Unlike Asda’s faffy, lengthy, confusing affair, Sainsbury’s prints a voucher at the till, while Tesco knocks the money off the bill.
Asda has realised its own version is no longer cutting it, but any attempt to price-match the discounters would be suicidal and upgrading its systems to match Tesco would be expensive.
A decision is expected soon, but don’t expect a shake-up. Expect APG to hit the scrap-heap. Asda needs money to peg prices back to compete with the new reality. Not to bolster gimmicks like the APG.