The Big Supermarket Boys are under tremendous pressure these days, not least trying to slow the rampaging growth of the hard discounters, Aldi and Lidl and the irritating nibbling of the pound stores. Pre-recession, hard discounters picked up a small proportion of the grocery basket of the majors. Now, income constrained shoppers do their full shop in the discounters. What’s more, well-heeled shoppers are proud to show off their savvy credentials and browse the shelves of Aldi and Lidl for those “treasure hunt” premium items before heading off to Tesco and Sainsbury’s to do their main shop! An out and out price war is underway which is good news for consumers but selling more groceries for less money is very worrisome for retailers. Supermarket received a sharp rap on the knuckles from their customers who admonishingly said “don’t try and confuse us with fancy promotions, just give us easy-to-understand lower prices”.
We note that bulk selling has come back in vogue (see pics.) – a ploy used by market traders for centuries – and, now, a promotional feature for Tesco and Asda. It’s cheaper by the dozen! Interesting move but edging into CostCo territory! We’re a little dubious about bulk packs in the UK – this isn’t the USA where big cars, 3 car garages and more room for “clutter and stuff” are the norm! Excuse me for the moment, I have to work out where to store 40 packets of crisps and enough Weetabix to last the family until Michaelmas!