/ Money, Shopping

Tesco vs. Asda – who will win the price war?

Tesco price check logo

In what is perhaps a predictable move, Tesco has now launched its own price promise – to be cheaper than Asda or get ‘double the difference’ back. But will it clinch victory for Tesco in the supermarket price war?

So, Tesco has done it. No, it hasn’t launched stores in space, or created its own boyband (although that’s got to be around the corner). It has launched its own price promise to square up against Asda in the latest round of the supermarket price war.

To be fair, we all saw this coming didn’t we? Tesco (among others) has been critical of Asda’s price guarantee – saying that consumers are being misled and that too many products are excluded in the comparison. (I don’t entirely disagree with the last point).

How does Tesco’s guarantee work?

The process looks simple. Buy your shopping at Tesco, log on to Tesco’s Price Check – its own online comparison – and within 36 hours, you’ll be sent a voucher for ‘double the difference’ if Asda turns out to be cheaper.

If not, you’ll be reassured that you’re shopping at the cheapest of the two supermarkets.

But I still have questions. Firstly, why just Asda? Tesco says it wants to keep things simple and only compare against one other supermarket, but why not put its money where your wallet is and refund if another supermarket is cheaper?

While it might be fruitless to try and claim that Tesco is more expensive than Waitrose, for example, is the supermarket giant so sure that it’s the cheapest of them all?

Tesco isn’t truly independent

And unlike the Asda guarantee, which is powered by grocery comparison site MySupermarket, Tesco uses its own Price Check. Not necessarily a bad thing – but it obviously isn’t ‘independent’ in the true sense. Will this prompt a wave of criticism from rivals? Time will tell.

The Price Check promises to exclude only on the basis of significant differences in quality and size – we’ll test it out to see what this means in practice, but in the meantime, do let us know if you’ve had a go.

The good news is that it also compares multi-buy or price-cut special offers on individual products. So if your Tetley tea bags are on promotion at Asda, Tesco will still use it in its comparison.

Tempted by new Tesco price promise?

We know that despite not coming out on top in the recent Which? supermarket survey, more of our members shop at Tesco than anywhere else. Will this new price promise cement loyalty or tempt in new shoppers? I’m not 100% sure.

Don’t get me wrong – on paper these initiatives to lower prices will go some way towards benefitting shoppers. But to me it does seem that the focus is on outdoing each other rather than providing the best all-round service. Price alone doesn’t determine where we shop.

Whichwitch says:
29 April 2011

Tesco’s press releases say that savvy shoppers targeted that were on short term promotion at Asda whereas many actually targeted items which Tesco had inflated ahead of a “reduction” to half price or multibuy – they even identified what these items were by looking up what would be on offer at Tesco the next week

Muskrat says:
23 May 2011

We shop at Asda (not a large superstore) as it is closet and they are friendlier than our Tesco store staff. Also your shopping does not have to be cheaper than the other supermarkets to get a voucher. Our recent shop was cheapest at Asda but still got a voucher for £1.26. We only but the items we need. And I agree at least Asda use an independant and compares to 4 other supermarkets.

kalyan says:
27 June 2011

I think ~Tesco is better than Asda…
I’ve shopped in Tesco for 3 years and have been shopping in Asda for about year now..
many times, I’ve been disappointed with stuff that i brought from Asda.. damaged stuff… or missing bits..eg: 1 plate missing from a dinner set…
a accessory missing of a vacuum cleaner and when i spoke to their customer service agents, I was not spoken to courteously…not the proper level of customer service that you’d expect from a big supermarket..
yes,, asda is cheaper than tesco..but Quality wise ??? Tesco are way over head…
I’ve taken stuff back to tesco.. and i’ve been given a refund …no questions asked.. or when i called them.. i’ve been spoken to nicely.
not with asda though…
so Asda is want cheaper stuff…. but Tesco if you want a bit of quality..

Sophie Gilbert says:
20 July 2011

I will not waste petrol and time to travel to the other side of town to go to Asda when it is convenient for me to go to Tesco nearby. If or when I move to the other side of town, it will be the other way round.

Gary says:
17 August 2011

I prefer to shop at ASDA as prices are cheaper than TESCO.

Also I think TESCO offers are usually a con, they put up prices then
reduce them to seem like you are getting item cheaper.

Kay Burns-Hearne says:
7 September 2011

I must be one of the lucky ones as the Tesco i use in Hanley, Stoke on Trent is very good, it is an extra store and for that reason it is enourmous but the staff are always pleasent and pollite and the store is always clean. I don’t like Asda because many of their own lable goods just don’t pass the taste test in my house, any money to be saved on branded goods is lost by the amount spent getting there,so when i find that Tesco own brand items are as good as name brands and i get a club point for every £1 i spend that is good enough for me, the fact is loyalty is important even if we are only talking about a supermarket.

Buyer says:
23 June 2012

I compared 5 Tesco receipts and on all occasions only half of the receipt was price compared with Asda, Tesco’s own and other brands i have been emailing Tesco for weeks and am still awaiting reply.

Buyer says:
23 June 2012

I compared 5 Tesco receipts and on all occasions only half of the receipt was price compared with Asda, Tesco’s own and other brands i have been emailing Tesco for weeks and am still awaiting reply. Wish me luck

julie says:
5 July 2012

went to TESCO other day, early about 6.30 am,
it was full of trollys waiting to be loaded on shelves, very few staff around to unload items, the staff i saw stank of B.O, bum cracks on show, very little to buy, boxes and rubbish all over the place, i only got half of my list , and not only that , only 1 till open ! some woman moaning about TESCO price increases !have to say i thought it was expensive, so i put in the receipt to compare to my usual ASDA, aparently they were 6 pounds cheaper, but they only priced the few things half the receipt didnt count, ASDA im sticking to you , VERY VERY UNHAPPY EX TESCO SHOPPER

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16 July 2012

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Trevor Bailey says:
23 July 2012

Tesco price promise is a waste of time. Went to my local Tesco three nights ago.Bought bottle Echo Falls wine. Cost £4.99 and sign in Tesco said Asdas price was £5. Had to go to Asda later that same night and found Echo falls at Asda was in fact £4. Also next day found it available at Iceland and Savers at £3.99.. Went through the routine of the Tesco promise online but because I had only bought 5 items (not 8 as specified in the price promise small prin)t I got nothing back.

I dont really care much about the price because its all swings and roundabouts. Asda is a far superior store from the moment you enter to the moment you leave. Tesco has lost the plot and with a company like Wallmart on their backs its not going to be an easy ride over the next few years.

shopping says:
5 October 2012

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dundee shopper says:
9 October 2012

I notice that Asda says “on wednesday asda were cheaper ” so does this mean its only a wednesday thay are cheaper . I work for the Largest supermarket chain and its like being in the army we all have to sign a confidentiality clause banning us from speaking about anything even on facebook and i mean anything so i can lose my job by typing this. Asda and Tesco should be banned from putting ads on tv boasting who is cheapest as its never long before the prices are switched ,also why dont asda show you the exact products that they say are cheaper as asda could only be 1p cheaper per product , also asda dont give there customers anything back ie Clubcard loyalty points which can add up.

David Harvey says:
22 November 2012

Quote: ‘Price alone doesn’t determine where we shop’

What planet do you live on mate? On my income Price is everything!

Steve says:
7 July 2014

Have just tried Tesco and you wouldn’t think they are part of a price war, the quality of the vegetables is lower than Morrisons and the only way to make any sort of savings is to buy the deals only, where you have to buy 3 or more of the same item. For me Asda is ahead of the competition.

I agree that asda is one of the best market super stores in the uk