Waitrose has been putting a lot of effort into cutting prices lately, so you can imagine the whoops of victory when a Which? Magazine survey declared that the posh person’s supermarket is now cheaper than Sainsbury’s.
Horrified by the findings, Sainsbury’s immediately emailed out a letter to its customers from CEO Simon Roberts. He talked about his commitment to battling inflation and claimed “We’re now the best value we have ever been and we’ve been keeping our prices down more than other supermarkets.”
Sainsbury’s argues that Which? made unfair comparisons because it excluded Nectar card price promotions in its research. This is the same Nectar card (along with most of the other supermarket loyalty schemes) that Which? found to be ripping customers off by raising prices ahead of introducing “discounts.”
Waitrose might have been knocked off its usual top spot as the most expensive supermarket, but it’s still the discounters that people are turning to – Aldi came out as the cheapest supermarket for a basket of groceries. A Sainsbury’s basket came out at £359.23 for a big shop of 131 items (which included branded and own-label products), while Waitrose was £3.72 cheaper.
In his letter to customers, Roberts finished by saying “please do let me know if there is any more you think we can be doing for you, with a link to an “executive office” email address.
After months of the supermarkets prioritising their profit margins, it’s good news that they may now be prioritising customers instead.
Waitrose last week launched its first ad campaign with Saatchi & Saatchi, introducing the line “Food to feel good about,” which – rather neatly – could be applied to pricing or quality. Although the ads focus on the decidedly upmarket Japan Menyu range.