Just what are they planning? All the talk today has been about Tesco – and the massive pricing push it’s reportedly poised to unleash.
Next week, we are led to believe, will mark the start of a new offensive from the UK’s largest supermarket, with insiders suggesting Tesco is looking to ease its reliance on promotions in favour of ‘permanently low prices’.
That’s not a million miles from Asda’s EDLP message, even if the Leeds-based supermarket has struggled of late to wean itself off the promotions.
Some sources are already whispering fearfully about what could be the bloodiest price war yet. And while the likes of Waitrose have certainly picked up sales from price-matching Tesco, keeping up that commitment through a price war would take them into very uncomfortable territory.
More broadly, one rival retailer told us today the trade as a whole could suffer serious – and lasting – damage if Tesco made a new move to hammer down prices. Then again, the revelations on Monday might not be nearly so dramatic.
Earlier this week Sainsbury’s PRs were briefing that something seriously big was imminent, dropping mysterious notes round Grocer Towers like calling cards from The Riddler. One of our elite newshounds went up to Holborn… only to find the ‘big news’ was the re-launch of Sainsbury’s own-label range, which The Grocer first wrote about in April.
As for Tesco, all will be revealed on Monday (perhaps).