LONDON, April 22 Britain's biggest retailer
Tesco has launched another round of price cuts on basic
food products and reduced online shopping charges as it attempts
to stem a loss of market share to discounters Aldi
Last week Chief Executive Philip Clarke vowed to win back
shoppers with millions of pounds of price cuts after Tesco
posted a second straight year of falling profits.
In common with Britain's three other leading grocers -
Wal-Mart's Asda, Sainsbury's and Morrisons
- Tesco has been hit on two fronts, by the discount
chains and by Waitrose and Marks & Spencer at
the premium end of the market.
Monthly industry data, published April 8, showed Tesco's UK
market share had shrunk to 28.6 percent, its lowest level in
nearly a decade.
Tesco said on Tuesday it had cut prices on over 30 popular
food products. For example a 420 gram can of Tesco branded baked
beans is cut by 13 pence to 32 pence, an 800 gram loaf of Tesco
branded wholemeal bread is reduced by 15 pence to 75 pence and a
pack of six Tesco salad tomatoes is cut by 31 pence to 69 pence.
The firm also said one-hour home delivery slots would now be
available for 1 pound ($1.68) compared with the previous charge
of at least 3 pounds, while click & collect grocery - where
customers order online and pick-up from over 260 UK locations -
would now be free compared with at least 2 pounds before.
A spokeswoman for Tesco declined to say if the latest round
of price cuts forms part of the 200 million pounds ($336
million) the firm said in February it would invest in lower
prices or part of the unquantified "big and bold plan" Clarke
talked about last Wednesday.
Tesco also said in February it would spend about 200 million
pounds on a fuel savings scheme for holders of its Clubcard
Shares in Tesco, down 21 percent over the last year, were up
0.6 percent at 291.6 pence at 10.01 GMT.
The firm's rivals are also cutting prices. Morrisons said in
March it would invest 1 billion pounds in price cuts over three
years to win back customers, while Asda said last year it would
spend 1 billion pounds over five years.
($1 = 0.5951 British pounds)
(Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Pravin Char)