Tesco Big Price Drop boosts shopper numbers

Tesco’s decision to entice shoppers by focusing its marketing on price cuts appears to be paying off as a report shows it has increased footfall at its stores.

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The latest supermarket share data from Kantar Worldpanel reports that Tesco’s £500m price cutting initiative has attracted an additional 346,000 shoppers in the past three months.

Despite shopper numbers being up, takings were “understandably” down according to the report.

Its share of the total supermarket spend fell to 30.5% in the three months to 27 November from 30.7% last year, and it was the only one of the Big Four to see its market share fall.

Edward Garner, director at Kantar Worldpanel says: “This may at first seem disappointing for Tesco given the Big Price Drop initiative, however, it is not wholly unexpected. Despite this, Tesco has successfully attracted more shoppers to its stores through the promotion.”

Tesco prompted rivals to ramp up price promotions, which appears to be having a positive impact.

Morrisons increased its share of supermarket spend to 12.1%, up from 12% with growth above the market at 4.8% following a £100m investment into price promotions to help cash strapped shoppers during the festive period and its Christmas Collector Card loyalty initiative.

Sainsbury’s, however, has been the least vocal of the Big Four about cutting prices during the previous three months, despite introducing its pledge to match Tesco’s prices, and reported flat market share retaining a 16.4% slice of supermarket spend and growth of 4.2% in line with the total sector.

Asda posted its strongest growth since December 2009, at 5.3%, and increased its share from 17% to 17.1% showing that its improvements to quality and continued Price Guarantee initiative that promises total basket spend will be 10% cheaper at Asda and an additional £5 Christmas gift voucher are appealing to customers.

Meanwhile, Waitrose, which also launched a price offensive and pledge to match Tesco prices at a cost of £19m, appears to be “immune” to the tough economic environment according to Kantar. It increased its share to 4.3% from 4.1% and registered growth well ahead of the market at 9%. Waitrose is expected to report “record” Christmas figures.

Tesco is due to report its third quarter update on Thursday (8 December)

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