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Sainsbury’s scrapping Brand Match Scheme to focus on lower everyday prices

| Economic factors

Sainsbury’s has revealed that it is ending its Brand Match scheme later this month to focus on offering its customers lower everyday prices.

The scheme, which now only price matches against branded goods at Asda, will close on the 26 April with shoppers having two weeks after this date to redeem any outstanding coupons. The group said that money saved from closing the scheme will be reinvested in lowering the prices of everyday products “that matter most to customers”. 


The move follows Sainsbury’s announcement back in the February that it will phase out multi-buy promotions across its grocery business by August in a continuation of its strategy to deliver lower and simpler pricing to combat the rise of the discounters. This came after the supermarket group found that promotions such as BOGOFs were out-of-step with today’s shopping habits and shoppers no longer appreciate them. 

The Brand Match scheme also required shoppers to buy a minimum of 10 products to qualify, which is out of sync with recent trends of consumers buying little and often, rather than doing big weekly shops. Reports suggest that only around a fifth of transactions at Sainsbury’s are now covered by the scheme. 

Sarah Warby, Sainsbury’s Marketing Director said: “Customers have told us that they want lower regular prices, and that this is more important to them than Brand Match. We’ve taken this on board and will now be investing all of the money from the scheme into lowering the regular prices on everyday products. 

“We know that customers like the changes we’ve already made to the way we price our products because it fits in with the way people shop now. Our customers are shopping more frequently across multiple channels and they want to be able to buy the products they love, in the quantities they need, safe in the knowledge that they are getting great value for money. Our simpler, clearer pricing lets them do just that.” 

Amid continuing pressure to compete with Aldi and Lidl’s simple low pricing, other supermarkets have been reviewing their price-matching schemes. Late last year Asda said that its Price Guarantee scheme was “under review” because shoppers were becoming tired of complex price-matching schemes. A decision on its future is expected to be taken this year. Meanwhile, Morrisons ditched the price-matching element of its loyalty card scheme, Match & More, last October. 

NAM Implications:

  • A great move towards clarity and ease of comparison...
  • ....besides establishing a steady-state brand benchmark for their private label...
  • Potential to secure the high ground by explaining unit pricing at point of purchase...
  • On balance this initiative is going to benefit private label at the expense of brand
  • Action: Branded suppliers could benefit from anticipating the other mults adopting this approach, especially if it drive’s Sainsbury’s share gains

 

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