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Britain's Tesco to price match Aldi products

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's biggest supermarket group, Tesco TSCO.L, will start price matching Aldi on hundreds of everyday items, firing the latest salvo in its fight to stem the market share gains of its rival.

FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: A company logo is pictured outside a Tesco supermarket in Altrincham northern England, April 16, 2016. REUTERS/Phil Noble/File Photo

Tesco TSCO.L said its price matching with Aldi, a German-owned discounter, would include products such as its packs of 5% fat lean beef steak mince, Greek-style yoghurt and ready-to-eat large avocados as well as branded products.

The initiative will also be available online, it said.

The UK industry leader still has a 27.2% share of the market, but it has been chipped away by Aldi and rival discounter Lidl, who have been aggressively opening new stores and now have a combined 13.7% - more than treble the level of a decade ago.

All of Britain's traditional big four supermarket groups, also including Sainsbury's SBRY.L, Asda WMT.N and Morrisons MRW.L, have been fighting back by trying to narrow the price gap with the discounters and by investing in the services they offer that discounters do not.

For example in October, Tesco become the first major British supermarket group to offer a subscription customer loyalty scheme.

However, Thursday’s initiative is the first time Tesco has directly price-matched Aldi.

Aldi was dismissive of Tesco’s move.

“Our promise to our customers is they will always pay the lowest prices on every product we sell. It’s why millions of shoppers continue to switch to Aldi from our more expensive competitors, including Tesco,” said a spokesman for the group.

In 2018 Tesco abandoned a price-matching scheme which gave shoppers instant reductions on branded goods at the till, having introduced it with much fanfare in 2015.

Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Angus MacSwan