UK retailer The Co-operative Group is preparing to launch a GBP200m (US$329m) promotional drive in the run up to Christmas.

The company said that the savings would be seen across its Co-operative and Somerfield banners.

The wide-ranging offers including a "triple Dividend", which is equivalent to a 6 pence in the pound saving for shoppers. The divi is the only scheme that allows customers to take the saving in cash, the Co-op said.

"With rising fuel prices and financial pressures hitting household budgets this Christmas, customers are looking for a great deal locally," chief executive Peter Marks said. 

"The acquisition of Somerfield has enabled us to offer them our best value deals ever across thousands of products, and, for the first time, Somerfield customers will be able to benefit from the famous divi."

Christmas offers available at both Co-op and Somerfield stores include half-price roasting joints, half-price smoked salmon and king prawns, half-price Champagne and wine, and half-price premium Christmas puddings.

Meanwhile, customers will also be able to take advantage of a range of coupons, worth a total of GBP60m, offering discounts on their shopping bill next time around.

A spokesperson for the company said that the price cuts were expected to boost sales volumes in a "highly competitive environment" as they are designed to give consumers "what they want" during the festive season.