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Promo Dynamic – Asda sticks to EDLP promise as its rivals promote harder

The Grocer

When it comes to promotional activity, no one could accuse Asda of following the crowd.

In the past four weeks, its four biggest rivals have all increased their number of featured space promotions compared with the same period a year ago [Assosia 4 w/e 17 February 2013]. Asda, meanwhile, seems to be sticking to its EDLP pledge and has cut its number of deals from 1,904 this time last year to 1,781.

The year-on-year increases in activity by the other four retailers – including a massive 45.8% hike in the case of Waitrose – has transformed the promotional landscape compared with a year ago, when Asda was running the greatest number of deals. This dubious honour has gone to Sainsbury’s over the past four weeks, while Morrisons and Tesco have offered virtually the same number, with Asda now fourth.

One thing all five retailers have in common is a year-on-year decline in the depth of the deals they are offering. Most notably, Tesco reduced its average saving by seven percentage points to 32.4%.

They are also adopting a similar stance when it comes to the promotional mechanics used. Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda have all reduced the number of ‘save’ deals they run, with the former two increasing their half-price offers and Asda ramping up its x-for-y deals.

The most popular mechanic nevertheless remains the straight ‘save’ deal, which accounts for 37.5% of all promos, followed by x-for-y offers at 34%. The use of half-price offers has increased by two percentage points year-on-year, and now account for 21.4% of all featured space promos.

As The Grocer reported two weeks ago (‘Is the promotions landscape shifting towards own-label?’, 9 February), there has been a big swing in favour of own-label promotional activity year-on-year. But, again, Asda is bucking the trend: while all the other top five retailers have increased the proportion of own-label promotions they run, Asda has cut own-label from 15% to 14% of all deals.

Taking a month-on-month view, all retailers are running fewer offers than in the previous four-week period, which included the tail-end of the festive frenzy. The total number of deals across the five retailers fell from 10,061 to 9,836.

4 weeks to 17th February 2013
Number of offers17812175250321771200
Number last month18382227253621931267
% change m-o-m-3.10%-2.33%-1.30%-0.73%-5.29%
Number last year1904181818551620823
% change on last year-6.46%19.64%34.93%34.38%45.81%
Average start price (£)£3.13£4.29£4.26£4.06£7.28
Typical Average £ saving£1.60£1.90£1.76£1.61£2.29
Typical Average % saving29.19%35.70%34.71%32.38%29.20%
Average saving last month28.14%34.87%33.03%34.68%28.70%
Average saving last year32.76%38.88%35.93%39.38%33.32%
Current Brand:own-label ratio86:1486:1474:2680:2081:19
Ratio 1 year ago85:1592:0881:1985:1587:13
Average % saving (branded)30.47%36.36%36.99%34.43%28.99%
Average % saving (o/l)20.98%31.69%28.23%24.04%30.09%

Published in The Grocer, 22 February 2013