MD Mark Price was at pains to point out that Waitrose would not be cutting back on general deal activity in order to absorb the cost of Pick Your Own. According to the latest figures from promotions experts Assosia for the four weeks to 6 June, Waitrose actually ran more deals over the period than in the preceding four weeks.

The number of deals in featured space at Waitrose was 1,168, up 3.5% on the previous four weeks; however, this was 6.4% down on the same time a year ago.

Assosia MD Kay Staniland hailed the Pick Your Own move as groundbreaking. “The Waitrose example is brilliant – allowing consumers to choose which products they get their savings off,” she said. “It’s new, it’s different – for how long though is another matter, before other retailers jump on the bandwagon. Themed events seem to have a big impact on uplifts in spend for key categories. It’s time to start thinking outside the box rather than me-tooing.”

Staniland also called for more excitement in terms of retailer deals, arguing the retailers were too often following a well-trodden path with little in the way of differentiation.

“It continues to be all about basic price cuts among the major multiples – in all retailers the price cut mechanic accounts for more than half of all featured space promotions,” she added. “When looking at the top five subcategories on offer, wine and ambient confectionery came up in all six retailers. OK so we can buy cheaper wine and chocolate, but there is no more to the weekly shop than that.”

Off the six biggest retailers, Sainsbury’s, with 2,973 offers, had by far the biggest number of deals in featured space. While it was up only slightly on the previous four weeks, it was 18.2% more than a year ago. Asda also increased the number of deals it had by a similar percentage compared with a year ago although its total of 2,432, down from 2,444 during the previous four weeks, made it the only retailer to reduce the number of deals month on month.

4 weeks to 6th June 2015
Number of offers24328752238297323781168
Number last month24448682224295623611129
% change m-o-m-0.49%0.81%0.63%0.58%0.72%3.45%
Number last year20457842216251625581248
% change on last year18.92%11.61%0.99%18.16%-7.04%-6.41%
Average start price (£)£3.63£4.21£4.55£4.21£4.37£7.04
Typical Average £ saving£1.44£1.57£1.71£1.45£1.60£2.77
Typical Average % saving29.41%35.94%34.65%28.88%32.02%33.08%
Average % saving last month28.60%35.46%35.14%30.00%33.10%33.88%
% savings change m-o-m2.83%1.37%-1.40%-3.75%-3.25%-2.37%
Average % saving last year30.77%35.30%37.25%32.27%32.73%31.84%
% savings change on last year-4.40%1.82%-6.99%-10.51%-2.15%3.90%
Current Brand:own-label ratio89:1176:2488:1279:2182:1887:13
Ratio 1 year ago90:1070:3088:1274:2681:1985:15
Average % saving (branded)30.59%38.20%35.54%29.81%33.37%32.84%
Average % saving (o/l)20.33%28.98%28.14%25.35%26.04%34.65%

Published in The Grocer, 20 June 2015

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