Struggling UK supermarket group J Sainsbury reportedly plans to increase investment in its low-price product range in a bid to fend off competition from its main rivals Tesco and Asda.

The company plans to axe its current 250-item Low Price range of products, replacing it with a new 500-item own-label range called Basics by the end of March, reported The Times.

The Low Price budget range will be phased out over the next few weeks. However, analysts were sceptical that the new shift to low prices would work.

"Sainsbury's needs to strengthen its entry-price [budget] offering to compete more effectively with Tesco and Asda," Richard Perks, director of retail research at Mintel, was quoted by the newspaper as saying.

"But if Basics is a deliberate move to take them on head to head, that is worrying. Sainsbury's is positioned at the upper end of the middle market, ahead of Tesco and Asda, and it should ultimately stay true to its roots," he added.