Tesco has launched a major assault on discounters in the Republic of Ireland with the introduction of a bold amber and black Cash Savers fixture, and is set to launch a similar scheme this October in the UK. 

The range includes 1,000 “everyday” items grouped together in a dedicated area. 

These comprise mainly, although not exclusively, Tesco own-brand products from the Value and standard ranges. Leading brands such as Hovis granary bread, Coca-Cola and Farley’s baby milk also feature.

An industry source told The Grocer Tesco in the UK was preparing for a similar launch. “The defence against the hard discounters kicks off mid-October. It will be a store-in-store solution with the look and feel of the hard discounters. It will be rolled out to 100 sites.”

The introduction of Cash Savers areas was part of a €100m price-cutting programme, according to Tesco. “The new range and the price cuts are all on products that matter most to people,” said Tony Keohane, Tesco Ireland CEO. “Our aim is to give customers value and convenience under one roof, saving several trips for shopping around.”

There had been “a very positive reaction” to the range since its introduction last Sunday, claimed a spokesman. Each product was the cheapest available on the market, he added. 

The fixtures feature price comparisons with rivals. Notices in one Dublin store compare Tesco’s prices with those of Dunnes Stores, the Musgrave-owned Supervalu and Centra chains and, crucially, Lidl and Aldi.

Cash Savers smoked back bacon rashers is €2.98 compared with Lidl’s €3.45, for instance, Chicken legs are €2.99 compared with a discounter price of €3.29 and Harvest Morn cereal sells at 69c compared with the Aldi price of €1.19.

The decision to include beer, wine and spirits in the range has sparked controversy, but the spokesman insisted the new prices were no different to those of the discount chains. Tesco was “vigilant and responsible” in its approach to the sale of alcohol, he added.