The troubled firm appears to be making announcements on a regular basis as it attempts to win over shareholders and public opinion, with group CEO Dave Lewis determined to make Tesco a powerhouse once more.
Tesco overstated its profits by a massive £263m last year and that error was followed by a record £6.4bn loss in April 2015. On 6 October, the supermarket revealed it will begin paying SME suppliers sooner than larger counterparts – equivalent to a fortnight early in some cases – to provide customers with better value and availability. With customers at the forefront of the business again, Tesco has launched a Brand Guarantee campaign that promises “customers they will never pay more for their branded shop compared with other leading supermarkets”. In fact, Tesco directly called out biggest rivals Asda, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s as it said it will price match the offers available at rivals’ stores. This means that Tesco shoppers will automatically have money deducted from their bills at checkout should certain products be available for a lower cost elsewhere – as long as they purchase at least ten items.
The Brand Guarantee will apply to in-store tills and also online, although money off via the latter will be applied upon product delivery. The scheme has been trialled in Northern Ireland already and Tesco claims feedback from customers and colleagues has been positive. Traditionally, the company provides money off vouchers but conceded that many of these end up in the bin, thus many customers lose out on hundreds of millions of pounds worth of savings annually. Supporting the launch with research, Tesco said 35 per cent of the country’s supermarket shoppers haven’t embraced in-store price matching, which rose to 80 per cent online. Some 48 per cent said this was because they simply forgot and 16 per cent said they lose the vouchers before using them. “Shoppers tell us price matching vouchers are a pain and don’t really help them. We all know it can be stressful and awkward when you have to rummage through your wallet to find a price match voucher,” said Matt Davies, Tesco UK and Ireland CEO. “That’s why we’re ensuring that with Brand Guarantee customers will never lose out on their branded shop by getting money off their bill at the till. “We’re working hard to make the shopping trip that little bit easier for customers, with simple, affordable prices you can trust. Brand Guarantee is one more way we are taking the hassle out of a trip to the supermarket or an online shop.” Dragons’ Den investor and personal finance expert Sarah Willingham said price matching had become too complicated, having to remember a shopping list, car keys, a payment method – and now carrier bags. “You get to the supermarket checkout only to realise you’ve left your voucher on the kitchen table,” she said. “Worse still, you find a voucher in your wallet only to find it has expired and you’ve lost out. Instant money off at the checkout means no more hassle and a win for shoppers. Anything that adds value to the consumer with no extra effort required is a great thing.” By Zen Terrelonge
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