It may seem a little early for some, but the big retailers are already ramping up their Christmas promotional activity.
Morrisons has stolen much of the early thunder by putting two-for-£7 deals on classic Christmas confectionery tins and slashing the price of a bottle of Baileys to £9 - moves that have whipped the money-saving websites into a frenzy in the past couple of weeks.
All this on top of the retailers’ Halloween activity has meant that the big four were all offering more deals in October than in the previous month, according to the latest figures from promotions experts Assosia.
Both Asda and Tesco carried over 5% more deals during the four weeks to 27 October than in the previous four weeks. They were also the only two retailers offering more promos than in the same period a year ago.
With a total of 2,235 deals in featured space, Asda carried 8.6% more deals than a year ago, while Tesco’s total of 2,527 was 2.5% higher than last year.
This month Tesco overtook Sainsbury’s as the retailer with the most offers. Sainsbury’s had 2,503 deals, up just 2.1% from September’s 2,452. Sainsbury’s, which this week launched a judicial review of the ASA’s decision to clear Tesco’s Price Promise ads, has scaled back deals by 4.9% year on year.
Meanwhile Waitrose, which has been focusing on promoting its myWaitrose loyalty card, has cut back on the number of deals by 8.7% year on year and 0.2% month on month.
In terms of the value of the deals on offer, the picture is mixed. While the average saving at Asda remains basically unchanged from last year, Morrisons has reduced its saving by 5.2% year on year, suggesting it is focusing on a smaller number of major offers while looking to retain margins in general. In contrast, the average saving has increased 6.2% at Sainsbury’s, 3.6% at Tesco and 1.4% at Waitrose.
Simple save promotions and x-for-y offers continue to dominate and have increased their share by 2.2 and 1.2 percentage points respectively. The bogof mechanic continues to lose favour, with Tesco recently blaming it for being one of the causes of food waste. Bogofs made up just 3.9% of the promotional mix in October, down from 5.1% last October.