/ Food & Drink, Shopping

I’m won over by Tesco’s Big Price Drop – are you?

Tesco superstore Clapham

So it comes to this – the banks won’t help us, and neither will the energy companies or petrol stations. But, amazingly Tesco will – today it’s lowering prices over 3,000 items. Will the Big Price Drop help you budget?

I say ‘amazingly’, because this is one giant organisation that I never thought I’d be praising in a Conversation.

Yet, credit where it’s due, today’s launch of the Big Price Drop promises to slash the price of more than 3,000 everyday products, from loaves of bread to cheese and ham.

Admittedly, the retailer isn’t doing this out of the goodness of its heart – but it’s a sure-fire way to melt the hearts of the armies of consumers who are paying through the nose for just about everything right now.

Sure, it’s a cunning plan to steal customers away from the competition, but bring it on. Who knows, it may even spark a price war on the high streets?

Shining a spotlight on other services

What Tesco’s Big Price Drop also does is put an intense spotlight on other key product and service providers. It would be nice to think that banks – with their lousy interest rates on accounts and high rates on credit cards and loans – will take heed and follow suit. After all, they’re not exactly winning people over right now.

And if banks want to regain consumers’ trust, offering us a decent interest rate seems a logical place to start. I bet they won’t feel the heat of that particular spotlight though.

And neither will the train providers. Ticket prices are so high that transport secretary Phillip Hammond recently went so far as to say that they are a ‘rich man’s toy’. Great, because it’s not as if it’s dirt cheap to fill up the car with fuel – another example of a sector that passes on price increases like they are going out of fashion, but stalls when the prices fall.

Winners and losers

Given how much we spend on the weekly shop, the news that one supermarket (Britain’s biggest to boot) is reducing prices is welcome. But it still comes with a sting in the tail, as the banks, lenders, energy companies, transport sector and so on will prove to be the real winners. They’ll continue to gobble up all of our spare cash, including a proportion of the change we save on groceries.

I don’t know whether champagne will be among the products on special offer, but I guess the fat cats who run our banks, transport and utility companies can afford the full price anyway, don’t you?

Will Tesco's Big Price Drop help you save on your shopping?

No, it's just a PR stunt (44%, 444 Votes)

Not sure, I'll have to give it a try to see (35%, 358 Votes)

Yes, I'll be shopping there (21%, 217 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,019

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Shopped at Tesco for years but now I’m an aldi convert so Tesco you can keep your 3 for 2 and your buy 1 get one free as I’m going for one at the normal price.

Allan Kirkwood says:
2 October 2011

Tried Tesco today, it’s a big con. looked for my regular items and they still were not cheaper than Aldi’s.Still offering 2 for £5 when the unit cost are £2.40 !!!! We are also paying for it by Tesco removing double clubcard points. Shop around as usual and look for the best deals

DAVID says:
2 October 2011

I am slightly biased as I work for Tesco and have a 10% staff discount card.( I am a Truck driver at the Scottish Distribution Centre.) Please believe me, this is no cynical marketing ploy! They want to keep you shopping there and will do whatever it takes to keep your loyalty..

john says:
2 October 2011

Lidl sells decent coffee pods for £1.49 but for the the decaff version I have to go to Tesco £2.99

Alastair says:
3 October 2011

According to “The Grocer”, prices at Tesco have actually RISEN this week on their random shopping basket.

Kanu Patel says:
3 October 2011

I have been to Tesco this week.I find 3 for 2 is not good for me.I think they want to keep away pensioner because pensioner do not need quantity they need day to day shopping.

Interesting… The Grocer has revealed that Tesco’s prices aren’t going down on it’s basket of 33 staple items:

“Despite the ‘Big Price Drop’ activity, incorporating £500m of price cuts which rolled out across all the chain’s store formats on Monday, Tesco’s overall price of £58.37 was actually £1.34 more expensive than if the shop had been carried out a week earlier.

And the UK’s biggest retailer was only the third-cheapest supermarket for the 33 items on our shopping list, coming in £4.67 more expensive than Asda and 79p dearer than Sainsbury’s.”

More here: http://www.thegrocer.co.uk/articles.aspx?page=articles&ID=221405

I cant say I’m surprised by this – what do you think?

I am not happy with the Tesco way. World domination at any cost. Have never shopped at Tesco for well over 5 years now and have vowed never to shop there ever again. It seems that we have a Tesco on every corner here. Support the local shops!!!!!!!!!

Anne Humphries says:
3 October 2011

We do not have a Tesco near us but we do have Lidl very near and Aldi not too far away,
we love these shops, quality food and goods at low prices.
All this buy 2 get third free is not acceptable to pensioners.
We need to support our local; shops although I do agree that parking can be a big problem.

Honor says:
3 October 2011

It is not fair to compare Aldi & Lidl with Tesco. If you are older or disabled Aldi is not user friendly. When I shop it is not just prices I go for, it is services too.

Thankfully the poll results show that regular shoppers aren’t as easily fooled as Dan Moore. For years Tesco has been treating shoppers as if they are all stupid with fake buy one get one free offers where the price was doubled the previous week. I went to Tesco last week and was not at all surprised that their so called £500m price cuts didn’t apply to any of the items I regularly buy.
If Tesco don’t change their management policy drastically they’ll be lucky to keep their place as third most popular supermarket.

Roger says:
1 November 2014

[This comment has been removed for breaking our community guidelines. Thanks, mods]

Dee, Cumbria says:
6 October 2011

I shopped at Tesco this week; yes there were lots of bargains to be had BUT… when I went for things like vitamin supplements (which are usually buy 2 get the 3rd free) I found that they were all full price. This made my shopping bill more expensive than ever – get the picture ??? I am going to be very careful and use the on-line comparison sites a heck of a lot more before just “popping down to the supermarket” in future!

I only shop at Tesco because it is the nearest supermarket to me. This latest stunt is undoubtedly a PR exercise. I always look for “bargains” before buying anything but I have decided that in future I will really think about their 3 for 2 etc offers and not be fooled into thinking I’m saving when I’m not really as I live alone and don’t need 3 of something.

kevin says:
9 October 2011

Having worked in the retail industry for many year it is sadly the retailer that takes the biggest hit in most promotions offered by the supermarkets. Our Tesco has recently had a huge extension and now has many extras like Optitions, Cafe, Mobile phone outlet etc. The sad thing is i have seen a huge increase in the prices througout the store so it does not take a genius to work out who is paying for it.

kevin says:
9 October 2011

Slight amendment to my last comment, it should state the supplier and not the retailer (sorry for the confusion)

Looks like Which? Conversation readers were right when they labelled Tesco’s Price Drop campaign as a PR stunt. A number of the goods that are now on ‘offer’ are now more expensive than they were in August before the campaign was launched http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/money/consumeraffairs/article3196390.ece

Andreas says:
18 October 2011

I also believe that Tesco’s Big Price Drop is just a PR stunt and other brick in the wall of the price war between supermarkets. And I also think Tesco is the worst among them – here in Abingdon Tesco is getting hold of old pubs, which are closed now, and convert those into Express Tesco shops. Tesco even doesn’t need a permission of the town council to do this.

Doug Shorey says:
18 October 2011

In the wall of my local Aldi is a poster with the following heading: ‘Tesco Big Price Drop?’ It then shows two near identical baskets of groceries. Each has a label stating 1) ‘Tesco £19.00’, and 2) ‘Aldi £14.00’. I think this says it all about the so called Tesco big price drop

Rob Denning says:
18 December 2011

The biggest con trick ever known.Tesco own brand products that went down slightly when the ‘price drop’ promotion started have not only gone back up to what they were,they have gone up way above that.For instance tesco lightweight cat litter,2.99 before price drop,then 2.87,now 3.29.

Yes, I agree. A lot of Tesco “Value” items that I used to buy have gone up significantly. For example Tesco Value tinned spaghetti in tomato sauce was increased from 15p to 25p, a huge percentage increase, yet it is still marked “Best seller”. I pointed this out to a local manager and he said that he had no control over prices, it was head office. But the local manager is the visible presence of Tesco that I can talk to. Maybe now that Sir Terry Leahy has gone from head office Tesco will be on a downward spiral.

Alastair says:
18 December 2011

Since the “Big Price Drop”, I reckon that my shopping at Tesco would have increased in price by about 25 – 30%. I say “would have” since I hardly ever shop there any more. Even Sainsbury’s is cheaper for many items now, and better quality, I think.

Roger says:
1 November 2014

These people make me laugh when they say Aldi sell quality, it’s all high fat cheap foreign rubbish that they couldn’t sell in there own country. I would rather pay double at Tesco than shop at that excuse for a supermarket.

anitkah says:
7 January 2015

high fat cheap foreign rubbish huh? I wonder what is in Brittish low fat fantastic foods, that makes you the most obese people in Europe. if you don’t like it you can buy British super food at Tesco or in other supermarket using shop mobility(provided for people who buy healthy British foods and never get fat)