Blog: Tesco rolls out Northern Ireland voucher trial

Michelle Russell | 27 November 2012

UK retail giant Tesco appears to be fighting back against Sainsbury's Branch Match scheme in Northern Ireland with the roll out of a voucher-at-till trial of its Price Promise scheme.

The trial, which will take place in 38 stores across Northern Ireland and online in the region, in addition to its Metro and Extras stores, offers customers its Price Promise but "in a different way", a spokesperson for the retailer told just-food.

"The Price Promise has been available across the UK on our website since Feb 2011. We're running a short trial, until the end of January ... to look at how we can give customers our Price Promise in a different way, with a voucher at the checkout," the spokesperson said.

The Price Promise is based on daily comparisons of Asda and Sainsbury's branded and private label products, including fresh food, household, health & beauty. The scheme gives customers a voucher for the difference if the overall basket is more expensive at Tesco or a receipt showing their savings where Tesco is cheaper.

"We'll be talking to our customers in Northern Ireland, to get their thoughts, before we make any decisions about next steps," the spokesperson said.

Tesco launched its Price Promise scheme in the UK in June, a relaunch of its Price Check scheme launched in February 2011. The retailer, along with Asda, however, has faced competition from Sainsbury's Brand Match promotion rolled out in October last year, which gave customers instant vouchers at the till on branded product comparisons.

Shore Capital analyst Darren Shirley noted the "relatively quiet launch" of the scheme in Northern Ireland, "where Sainsbury's trialled Brand Match too".

Sainsbury's trialled its Brand Match scheme in Northern Ireland in August last year, before rolling it out across the UK months later.

Shirley said the development by Tesco "does not imply fireworks in the trade", but added, "it does suggest a market leader taking further steps forward in the improvement of its competitiveness".

Tesco is set to report is third-quarter results on 5 December, when Shirley said he expects "steady, broadly market in-line UK progress to be recorded".


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