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Sunday, 21 July 2013


I just caught a Tesco advert on the idiot box tonight. In the advert they proudly boast that if you find that their product is more costly in their store rather than at Sainsburys, Asda, or Morrisons, they’ll give you a coupon for redemption once you pass through the checkout.

Sounds good on the surface doesn’t it?

The customer of course is going to think to themselves that Tesco is being wonderfully philanthropic and will return the following week to redeem their voucher.

All Tesco has to do is add a couple of pence on dietary staples such as bread, milk, cornflakes, whiskey, water, tea, coffee, whiskey, and butter, etc, each week. Lo and behold, their customer base is secure at no extra cost to them.



  1. But if Tesco is your closest, most convenient supermarket, then you can't lose.

    [Except for the fact that them "pound shops" are sometimes 50% cheaper for some of the staples.]

  2. ASDA do something similar. If after shopping with them, you go online and enter the reference number of your checkout receipt, they "check" the prices of the items you bought against a range of other supermarkets (cannot remember exactly, but, all of the usual suspects are there). If the ASDA price is not at least 10% less than the opposition, they refund you (a voucher) for twice the amount. So, the customer is lulled into believing a) ASDA is cheaper b) they are getting something for nothing. You can only spend the voucher at ASDA of course, and many people do not bother to check of course.

  3. Sainsbury's have been doing exactly the same thing for at least a year. You are automatically given a coupon at the checkout if your "basket" of shopping would have been cheaper at other leading supermarkets.

    Which leads me to ponder - they might as well ALL charge the same prices...

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  5. How does all this differ from a price-fixing cartel?

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