Putting Asda’s Price Guarantee to the test – in an ex-Netto Asda Supermarket

Graham Soult

Retail consultant, writer, blogger; helping retailers via CannyInsights.com and CannySites.com. Say hello on Twitter at @soult!

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15 Responses

  1. bigsands says:

    You said – Judging from the number of hits – this term hits, is annoying. A hit is not an individual visit.

  2. John says:

    Asda is the main choice in the suburb of Newcastle, where I live. It’s about 1 minute drive. I do the bulk of my shopping in there but we also have a medium sized Sainsburys too. I tend to visit Sainsburys for the offers as opposed to a basic shop. I find their prices excessively expensive on certain items but other offers in Sainsburys can’t be beaten. Their clumping cat litter @ £1.99 is the very best one you can buy and I’ve tried them all. They have my unreserved loyalty on that product. Their range of unusual items like Jalepeno Coleslaw also attracts me into their store, but items like Washing Powder, Dishwasher tablets, shower gel and wine is always horrifically more expensive. You get better toiletry offers in Boots next door. It’s rare for Sainsburys to offer Daz 50 wash at a fiver but either that or Surf is always on special in Asda. Asda smart price dishwasher tablets at £1.80 are half the price of Sainsburys who don’t offer a basic version of the product. Tuna, for my 4 cats is always 55p in Sainsburys but 45p in Asda. Things like that add up when you buy 7 tins of tuna a week and finally cat food, 3 or 4 brands always on offer on in Asda, never hardly ever an offer in Sainsburys. My cats like the Gourmet tins or A La Carte which are usually £4 each in Asda but £4.50 and over a fiver for the A La Carte in Sainsburys. My feline weekly shop will save me close to a tenner in Asda.

    My bank is Natwest and Gosforth High Street is a nightmare branch so once a week I bank at the new West Denton shopping centre branch, right next door to Morrisons. I am not a Morrisons fan, I find their Market Street to be very tacky but again, I pop in for the offers. Just a few things plus a bottle of wine. But again….. no one seems to beat Asda’s weekly 3 for a tenner offer on wine. Sainsburys never have such good wine offers and neither do Tesco. I find Tesco the most expensive shop for wine offers.

    The shop I do love to visit is Aldi in Westerhope. I make a special trip once every 2 weeks. Vegetables are shockingly good value and very high quality. We’re vegetarian and so this is why I make a special trip. Large punnet of mushroom 99p in Aldi compared to £1.38 in Asda and a whopping £1.75 in Tesco last week. Their speciality items are wonderful and the quality is on par with Waitrose and Marks and Spencer without the thrills.

    One shop I hate and avoid is Tesco Kingston Park, at one time their largest UK store I find it a bore, highly priced with people herded around like sheep at a cattle mart. Wine is never on offer, the clothing section is like a jumble sale at times because of the sheer amount of people fingering though the items and the checkouts are always packed on a Sunday, the only day I ever feel like visiting. I only pop in for the vast vegetarian frozen selection with items you can’t buy anywhere else.

  3. Four words: shoddy service/appalling quality

    Even Tesco/Morrisons do better at this; ASDA fresh food I’ve had has been awful, and it’s not a nice environment to shop in!

  4. Christine Peel says:

    Great article. Living rural, I mostly shop online & have returned to Tesco after briefly trying out Asda. I only had 5 orders from them and had missing items from every order. Ok, you can call & get refunds but it was costing more to call than the items were worth as I repeatedly got cut off. I also have better things to do with my time. Tesco don’t always have stuff in stock but at least they don’t charge me for them (or give whole bags of my stuff to someone else).

    I also like the clubcard rewards I get with Tesco too.

    Having been on holiday for a couple of weeks I’ve been visiting Aldi and have been massively surprised by the quality of their stuff. Am now considering doing my shopping there although it’s not as convenient as shopping on line.

  5. Victoria says:

    We tend to do our weekly shop at morrisons because we find the quality of meat etc to be much better than tesco or asda. Its all very well and good getting a bargain but i’d rather eat something that tastes nice! I find Asda is good for basic brands like cereal etc but a bit rubbish for anything special!

  6. Interesting feedback on a limited range. We tend to buy the same stuff at Asda when we go (used to go). What particularly is it that people can’t get I wonder?

    Also the price point, inflation is seeing our food bills go up anyway due to cost pressure at manufacturers, Asda can’t resist this being passed on. Whilst they are cheaper than the rest, shopping still costs more than it used to a year ago for example.

    That’s the problem with EDLP. I don’t want to harp on about store standards, I’ve done it on my blog, I do it on most posts on here but the gappy shelves comment resonates with me, as does incorrect POS on offers. So many times you’ll see SEL’s and advertising for ‘Fanta £1′ and it will be filled with Sprite / Dr Pepper etc. Whilst the same offer / manufacturer it must put some customers off that it’s the wrong price.

    The red / yellow POS is garish too, hardly fitting with a chain trying to lift its imaging upmarket.

  7. Chris says:

    A good insightful read as always.

    As a regular Sainsburys shopper I’ve ventured into Asda a couple of times recently down south.

    One is a fairly new store in Feltham, West London. Although on the small side for an Asda its still quite large. It’s the first store within easy reach of me and I’d expected that alone would work in their favour by providing something different. However it doesn’t seem to have made much of a dent on the local Tesco/Sainsburys duopoly. I’ve popped in a few times for top up shopping but echoing the comments above the range seems very limited, especially with regards to more premium lines. In short there was nothing there to tempt me to give it a try for a full weeks shopping.

    The other store was a more established one in Wembley. I believe this is one of their top UK stores in terms of turnover. Visiting at about 9 on a Saturday I was shocked by the low store standards; litter strewn car park, half empty cages left unworked on the shop floor and very gappy shelves.

    I think you hit the nail on the head. They have neither the depth of range or quality of own brands to compete in the middle/top of the market or the very cheap, simple shopping experience of the hard discounters.

  8. Nick Davies says:

    Really interesting post. Always good to read the opinions of others wrt retail. First, the CHURCH range is a little confusing to me – are the products selected by the average Asda shopper and, if so, is that really all that aspirational? It’s also in direct contrast to their recent tv adverts with the butcher’s choice steak – make your mind up guys!

    We used to be Asda shoppers but the experience seemed to go downhill (or perhaps our expectations got higher) and at the same time the choice in store seemed to be ever more limiting. Perhaps because I really enjoy the act of grocery shopping I’m always in the market to be surprised with new products – something Waitrose excels at but Asda fails dismally to do.

    I wonder also whether location of competitor branches and the ever growing footprint of them has affected Asda more than anyone else – perhaps being located conveniently for C2DEs isn’t attracting customers the way a shiny new out of town Tesco (or Aldi) might.

  9. Zoe Wildsmith says:

    Great article, you’ve really done your homework!
    Two reasons I no longer shop much at Asda (in fact, use it the least of all supermarkets that I do use):
    1) While it used to feel cheaper than other supermarkets, so used to be my main supermarket, it no longer does “feel” cheaper and, crucially, it doesn’t have such a wide range as the others – I find I can never get everything I need there.
    2) It has no loyalty scheme. I’ll happily collect useful Clubcard or Nectar points at others and pay a tiny bit more for that, as the benefits seem to outway the extra cost, plus Tesco and Sainsbury’s have a wider range of products so I can do my main shop all in one store.

    • Graham Soult says:

      Good point about loyalty cards, Zoe! Clearly another factor that can act against people choosing Asda.

      What’s your view on Morrisons, out of interest? Safeway used to have its ABC Card, but Morrisons has never gone down the loyalty card route either.

  10. Very interesting read that, I haven’t shopped at Asda for a while to use APG but intriguing that they claim a 10% saving but don’t actually state the percentages anywhere on site?

    Also APG has done a great job of pushing the price agenda, as does the POS, 14 years in the Grocer 33 etc. As you point out, why are they losing market share in these tough economic times?

    They need far far more than just a price proposition.

    • Graham Soult says:

      That’s right Steve! It’s easy enough to work out the percentage savings if you do the sums yourself, but they’re not stated on the site. Perhaps it’s to do with the 10% pledge being a later addition to the APG, and the overall interface not being updated to reflect that?

  11. James says:

    A good read.

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