/ 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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Comments

I’m glad Tesco will be reducing the points given on Clubcard in favour of reducing prices. It always infuriates me to be asked “Have you got a Clubcard?” every time I shop there. I once told the woman on the till that I didn’t have a Clubcard because I didn’t want Tesco counting the number of tins of baked beans I eat in a week. I said that very soon Tesco would know more about me than the tax man. She replied that Tesco takes more money from the British people than the government takes in taxes. Could she be right?

Alastair says:
30 September 2011

No, I don’t think she’s right – not by a long way.

A bit of googling suggests that in 09/10, Tesco took in £42 billion in the UK. HMRC took in £134 billion in income tax alone.

I’m not an expert, so happy to be proved wrong if that’s the case.

Eileen says:
29 September 2011

I’ve never viewed “Your friendly local supermarket” as being even slightly philanthropic and doubtless this latest move will not convince me otherwise. I shall however check it out.
In the meantime, as ever, I shall be playing one supermarket against the other and majoring on the best buys (for the time being) in each.

Apart from price, quality and value are in the mix as well, as is the whole shopping experience.

Supermakets like all for-profit enterprises SCREW as much as possible from the consumer
who has a duty to resist that OR mitigate such excesses by shopping around AND cherry-picking
where possible.

The average consumer here is much too much of a soft touch OR sucker….and you wonder why
Tesco’s US operations are consistently making a LOSS…. the US consumer is far more savvy AND will NOT tolerate any rip-offs, be it in foods, goods or merchant services from any commercial outfit.

Tesco has ceased their trading in Japan and Taiwan that you may know, and for quite
obvious reasons.

Tesco 2 litre Cornish Ice Cream
12/9/2011 £2.20
30/9/2011 £2.99
Price drop?

Alan Lodge says:
30 September 2011

Why all this venom against Tesco? They’re just a big shop – If you don’t like them (I happen to – so that makes me biased, I suppose) shop elsewhere! Although I do agree that it is their suppliers who probably do suffer. For me, it’s like dieting: I CAN shop cheaper elsewhere, but I prefer not to. We can only criticise ourselves in that case.

I would like to think the Tesco cashier is right in saying that Tesco take more money from us than the government do, but I fear this is wishful thinking, bearing in mind all the direct and indirect taxations, and how much of any item is tax, by the time the government has taxed every link in the supply chain, and then taxed on the with-tax value. And at least we get to take home what we want at Tesco, even if it costs slightly more than it “should”…

Martin says:
30 September 2011

… and are these ‘price drops’ really at the expense of the (often already on very tight margins) suppliers?

I went to my local main Tesco today with a completely open mind……and
I came out completely empty-handed as there was nothing really worth buying
in terms of a reduction in price, significant or otherwise, that I was led to EXPECT,
confirmation if such were needed that the latest promotional offer
amounting to some £500 million ‘give back’ to customers is a gimmick (to me at any
rate), very much like the numerous so-called special offers they had run in the
past that came to nothing or benefitting me not a bit, again speaking for myself.

Of course, most of you take what Tesco says with a good pinch of salt.

Back to the German discounters and the very occasional Waitrose!

If you’re fortunate to have oriental/Asian supermarkets or shops nearby or convenient
enough, things there can be much cheaper including poultry, meats, fish and shellfish
(both fresh and frozen) but buy your milk first at Aldi/Lidl that some of you would have
done, and buying your fruit and veg at cheaper local markets and greengrocers.

Richard Mackie says:
30 September 2011

I think its a PR exercise, with a degree of give and take, eg:

For a very long time 4 pint milk cartons have been £1.47 individually with a buy 3 for £3 option => £1 per carton. With the “price drop” introduction, milk is now £1.25 per carton with no bulk discount. Thus a benefit for the single carton purchaser but, for anyone buying 3 cartons its now 75p dearer.

Julian says:
30 September 2011

I shop at Tesco because the quality is good, the prices are reasonable, the choice is good and they are better at getting you though the checkout than Sainsbury. Clearly millions feel the same way as I do. Why do some people have to snipe at any large successful company? They are successful because they offer what a lot of customers want. It’s not as if we don’t have the choice of going somewhere else.

As to this promotion, all retail companies are continually reviewing the balance between price, quality, loyalty card promotions etc. I am sure some people will benefit and for others it will make little difference. Price is important in the current climate, hence the shift in emphasis.

I am not a customer of Tesco as I believe them to be too powerful already. In particular their attitude in the free range chicken campaign together with the producers even more.the pressure they bring to their suppliers prices. I suspect that Tesco will not be suffering much of the reductions they promise, instead they will squeeze

I was not sure which way to vote as we already shop at Tesco – when it suits us – but the way they have financed this “Big Price Drop” at the expense of their most loyal customers, those “Tesco Club” members who always or usually shop there, clearly and definitively make this a PR exercise. Sp that is how I voted. This will not stop us shopping at Tesco when we wish to but it should make their regular customers think twice – which could be – and perhaps should be – a PR disaster!

Tesco should drop their prices – they have spent months sending them sky high so that they can do this. I do not look forward to their year end when they announce how many millions they have made out of our pockets.

Sharon says:
30 September 2011

I have no option other than to shop in Tesco as I live in the Tesco capital of Scotland! I’ll be so glad when Asda finally build their supermarket so that we can get some choice and competition here in the Highlands.

Sharon says:
30 September 2011

I looked at my Tesco clubcard and thought great I have £160 worth of vouchers towards Christmas. Then I realised how much I have spent in the shop, on petrol and on my Tesco credit card to amass that amount of vouchers!

Jeannie says:
30 September 2011

Tesco have raised prices so much in the past 6 months that it’s just complete hypocrisy to talk about a price “drop.”

Re subject line of Article….how can anyone be ‘won over’ when what was declared by Tesco a week
or so ago in advance was no more than a DECLARATION of an INTENT of a BIG PRICE DROP that many including myself would attest has NEVER ever quite materilized…. if ever there is presently a SPECIAL OFFER in a meaningful sense of the word, I have NOT noticed it….. taking off a few pennies here and there (and piling them on elsewhere) is not what I would call a genuine offer or a discount.

The present episode is no more than a promotional exercise that they have done many times in years past, at the rate of an average of two or three times a year when they felt a need to stimulate greater sales and, of course, greater profits!

Don’t think for a moment Tesco is in with us hard-up lot together!

Chris Stockton says:
30 September 2011

What i find annoying is that a few of the big supermarkets are offering three -4pts bottles of milk for £1 each [providing you buy three], While at Iceland you can [and have done for some time] been able to buy them at one pound each regardless of the amount you buy. I don’t like being forced to buy three. If Iceland can do it, why can’t the others.

Aviatrix356 says:
1 October 2011

I broke my leg recently so I started to use Ocado, OK expensive, but my weekly bill has reduced because I don’t buy all that other stuff. Also the receipt comes with use by date order so I rarely throw any food away now.
Plus the fact that some nice person carries my shopping to my kitchen…think I am hooked.
I cannot believe that Tesco would do any thing that would reduce profits as that is the main motivation and legal obligation of a PLC.

I have just read some of the comments made previously, and would like to add one or two of my own: Tesco’s double points was always known to be temporary, and I for one am surprised it lasted as long as it did. Tesco gives you 1 point (penny) per bag for using your own. Sainsbury gives you 1 point, only this is worth only 1/2 penny. Sainsbury’s loyalty reward give you back 1/2p per pound spent. Tesco gives you 1p, and until recently 2p. I agree shopping in Lidl or Aldi is very much cheaper, if you don’t mind shopping in a ‘wharehouse’ environment. Definately cheap, but not very cheerful. I should point out I have no interests in Tesco, other than being a customer. They’re by no means perfect, But show me a supermarket that is.

Digressing from subject matter of Tesco….

Quote from your Guidelines: Also, avoid writing in capitals, IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU’RE SHOUTING.

Since you do not offer a ‘bold’, ‘italics’ or ‘underline’ facility like certain other sites do, it is sometimes necessary to give emphasis or a slightly different shade of meaning to certain words or phrases….. legal documents, books including practitioner books have no problem using capitals where necessary…. I take it you will exercise moderation in editing, if at all resorted to in this regard…of course, capitals use per se and for no other valid reason is wholly unnecessary.