Somerfield today turns up the heat in the supermarket price war by launching one of the largest ever on-going price promotions, investing £0.5 billion in discounted products in the first 12 months alone.

Recently Asda announced it was reducing prices by £52 million over the first 80 days of 2001 and Tesco said it would cut £70 million off a range of products. Megadeals, however, will give shoppers £26 million in savings in the first two weeks.

The promotion replaces Somerfield’s PriceCheck which was launched in 1993 and set the trend for on-going price discount schemes in supermarkets. It was created in response to research from Somerfield customers which revealed they wanted instant reward for their shopping loyalty rather than collecting reward points. As a result, Somerfield has wound up its Premier Points card scheme, although points can still be redeemed at Argos stores at least until February 2002.

Richard Smith, Somerfield associate marketing director and architect of Megadeals, said: “We created Megadeals as a direct result of listening to our customers. We have been providing them with good discounts for eight years but Megadeals offers more high-value discounts than any other supermarket and ones which will make a real difference to people’s shopping bills.

“We are spending big money on achieving my goal that Somerfield will be the very best in Britain for promotions – and promotions that are not the hit-and-run sort but sustained effort which builds customer loyalty and generates benefits to the bottom line.”

Megadeals will be supported with a £1 million television advertising campaign featuring Somerfield’s brand spokeswoman, Annie.

For further information please contact Jill Rawlins, head of corporate affairs, Somerfield Stores Ltd. On – 0117 935 7408