Supermarkets believing their own hype

  oresome 18:17 30 Oct 2013

Sainsbury's are taking Tesco to court over price comparisons.

Taste the Difference is going head to head with Tesco's Finest.

Sainsbury's claim that the two simply cannot be compared and any price difference simply reflects the superior quality of their offering.

The Advertising Standards Agency dismissed the original claim, but Sainsbury's haven't accepted the ruling, hence the court case.

Sainsbury's only match branded prices as they consider their own brand produce to be incomparable, whereas Tesco match branded and own label.

I'm surprised that the supermarkets get away with the price matching gimmick. Isn't it tantamount to price fixing?

As for Taste the Difference..........I've accepted the challenge on occasions and often can't distinguish it from any other mass produced over processed food.

  fourm member 18:41 30 Oct 2013

'Isn't it tantamount to price fixing?'

How do you make that out?

In any market, if there is little or no product differentiation, then prices will tend towards the same figure. That's true of electric cable (my background) just as much as it is of ordinary litres of milk or loaves of bread.

It is also true of Heinz Tomato Soup but not of tomato soup. Tesco couldn't sell HTS at £1 if Sainsburys had it at 50p. But it is harder to work out the equivalence of own brands, premium or otherwise.

I think Sainsburys were hoping for an 'official' ruling from the ASA that its product was better.

  oresome 19:48 30 Oct 2013

'Isn't it tantamount to price fixing?'

How do you make that out?

The major retailers who supply the vast majority of food consumed sell all branded goods effectively at the same price.

There is no incentive for one to sell at a lower price to increase volumes because the others will simply match the price more or less instantly.

If we've removed the competitive advantage to any retailer of reduced prices and all sell at the same price it's remarkably like price fixing to me.

  fourm member 20:25 30 Oct 2013

It's a lack of price differentiation but that is not price fixing.

You can't expect to sell Cadbury's milk chocolate for £5 a bar if the shop down the road is selling it for £1.

I'm not saying there isn't price fixing. I'm pointing out that very similar prices are inevitable when there's nothing to differentiate the product and/or service. That makes it hard to determine whether there is actual agreement on pricing or whether the market is working as it should.

  spuds 11:23 31 Oct 2013

I was in a number of shopping outlets yesterday, and Tesco gave me a voucher for 2pence to spend before expiry date, because somewhere in the computer system, I could have got £40.00 worth of items 2pence cheaper elsewhere :O(

What perhaps some people might no realise, is that some certain major products may well come from the very same manufacturing or processing source, yet have a store brand package, perhaps suggesting the item had been sourced differently?.

At least with Tesco, John Lewis, Iceland, Co-op and Waitrose, I get 'clubcard' type points and a money worth voucher later (if I produce the clubcard).

  oresome 12:17 31 Oct 2013

We've had coupons for a penny or two, but mostly the receipt tells you how much you've saved against their competitors.

This isn't actually correct because the competitor would have matched their prices.

I think Asda is the only one with a decent offer. They don't match, they claim to beat by 10%. Trouble is, we don't like shopping there.

Another thing.......why don't they give you the money back there and then?

  spuds 15:06 31 Oct 2013

"why don't they give you the money back there and then?".

Perhaps in the hope that you will forget to bother to collect the difference at a later time. Most of my 'difference rewards' end up in the bin, that's how much I regard they are worth.

Bit like how different methods are used at the customer service counter's,at the various stores when mistakes are made by the store. The other week I was overcharged by £2.18 on an item. In previous times, I would have perhaps got the item free with the £2.18 or part also refunded. Now that no longer seems to apply, only the £2.18 was refunded with an whoops apology?.

  Woolwell 15:06 31 Oct 2013

"why don't they give you the money back there and then?" Because under the system of a voucher you have to come back to the store to shop.

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