Friday, 25 March 2011


Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear...

You’ve all seen these offers in shops, right?

“If you can get you shopping any cheaper anywhere else, we’ll not only give you the difference, we’ll, blah, blah, blah...”

So the latest to try this out is Tesco who claimed in their “Double the Difference” (nice bit of alliteration there guys) that they would do just twice the difference if you could buy items more cheaply elsewhere.

Clearly the idea is to inspire confidence in shoppers. There surely aren't that many people with the time and energy to find the cheaper item and make the claim. Nope, its all the old ‘they wouldn’t make that kind of offer if they thought they would have to actually pay out on it’ ploy.

Now it’s plain daft of Tesco to try that lark, because you’d have to be all kinds of dumbass if you couldn’t find things cheaper than in Tesco. I’ll grant you if you’d only ever shopped in Waitrose you’d probably think Tesco prices weren’t bad, but they hardly rank in the “cheap” stakes. So it’s not really surprising that people have been taking the daft eejits up on their offer with such regularity that they have been forced to modify it.

One man bought £126 worth of shopping in Tesco that would have cost £91 in ASDA and claimed a £90 voucher. Another claimed to have made £600. Some were even going online to use price comparison sites to find the cheapest supermarket for a range of good, buy them up and presenting Tesco with the bill for twice the difference.

As a result Tesco have had to limit the deal to a £20 limit per person.

ASDA are actually running a similar scheme at present (I noticed it the other night and started to read the details, but lost the will to live half way through). I thought what their spokesman had to say was hilarious: ''If you claim to be the cheapest, call me old-fashioned, but it helps to really be the cheapest.''

Don’t you just love it when a plan falls off the rails and you get to watch smart boys trying to find a way out of it, with enough egg on their faces to keep the Army in omelet’s for a month.


  1. Blogged about that earlier today CH.... Shocking ain't it?

  2. mmmm? I wonder if some smart bugger at ASDA seen an opportunity to stuff it to Tesco and cost them a few bob at the same time?

  3. Well it doesn't surprise me a bit that ASDA may come out on top in this competition.

    After all, ASDA is a subsidiary of Wal-Mart, and old Sam Walton didn't become the largest American retailer, while creating the world's largest public corporation, by letting the competition undercut him on price.

    Readers of Munguin's Republic will wish to know that this all grew from a little store selling low priced dry goods on the town square of Bentonville, Arkansas....a little town nestled in the northwestern Arkansas Ozarks.

    Sam Walton's original "five and dime" store in Bentonville is lovingly maintained as a corporate visitors' center:,_Bentonville,_Arkansas.jpg

    And this ultimately helped bring the benefits of discount merchandising to the people of Britain. No, don't thank us. Old Sam Walton was more than happy to do it. ;-)

    PS: The "Ozarks" is a highlands area spanning the state border between south central Missouri and northern Arkansas.

  4. Anon: ideal opportunity if you know your ASDA prices...and £600 is not to be sneezed at in these "difficult times" for "hard working British families"

    (Why do Westminster, and some Holyrood politicians always have to get these expressions into their pronouncements? I mean they are not difficult times for them, and they just got easier!)

  5. Morning Danny...or is it the middle of the night?

    Yep, it's a good old USA store now but it did start off as ASsociated DAiries, from whence came AS DA.

    We have two stores in Dundee, one of them big and unfriendly, the other small and very friendly. This compares with 9 Tesco stores.

    Tesco seem to want to take over towns and make them exclusively theirs. The sell everything and are happy to see small stores go to the wall. They are accused to dodgy planning practices, including buying up land which might be used for otehr supermarkets. Their prices are not really comparable to other supermarkets, ASDA and Morrisons. They are more likely to be on a par with the slightly more upmarket Sainsbury’s, but without the rise in quality of the goods.

    On the subject of supermarkets, a relatively recent addition to our shopping choice is the continental supermarkets Lidl and Aldi which sell mainly own brand groceries at discount prices. I know snobs who wouldn’t be seen dead in these places, but in fact the quality of the goods is, in most cases, superb, much of it being imported from Germany.

    The recent so-called financial crisis (or excuse to lower the standard of living, depending upon the way you look at it) has meant a rise in the number of people using these supermarkets, making huge savings, and discovering that you don’t have to be pricey to be good.

    I've never really heard much animosity expressed to ASDA, Morrison's, Sainbury's or the other cheaper supermarkets, but although they are widely used, Tesco's seem to be roundly disliked.

  6. Here in the states, Wal-Mart is also controversial....roundly disliked by many. They move into an area with their deep pockets, buy up the prime commercial real estate, and build huge stores selling everything from groceries to dry goods to hardware and automotive supplies. And with their economy of scale, and power over their suppliers, they can sell at rock bottom prices. This tends to drive the smaller, customer-friendly, "mom and pop" stores out of business. And Wal-Mart is unfriendly to union organizing, with low employee wages and minimum benefits.

    It sounds like attitudes toward Tesco in Scotland and the UK is much like the feelings of many about Wal-Mart here in the states. One thing is certain, they're a retailing powerhouse. And they've transformed the economy of the hill country of northwestern Arkansas.

  7. Danny, I remember that shocking story a few years ago, which you pointed out to me. It concerned Wal-Mart somewhere in the south, I think, and was covered by Keith Olbermann so effectively.

    They had cancelled, on some small technicality, the health insurance of a woman in their service, after she had been hit by a truck and left a complete invalid.

    Keith named them the "worst person in the world" in the feature of the same name...and promised to do so every night until they reversed the decision, which, if I remember, they did within a few days.

    That kind of publicity was the kind they could do without.

  8. (PS, I see it wasn't the middle of the night LOL)

  9. A reasonable weekend hour here actually Tris....LOL.

    You recall that correctly. It took only a few days of unfavorable national publicity for Wal-Mart to reverse its insurance decision regarding that unfortunate employee.

  10. Tris.

    This article is close to my heart as I manage a supermarket store lol.

    Tesco and Asda often claim to be the cheapest and by all accounts they often are but from our own feed back, customer service and availability also features high and I'm afraid that's where the big two fall short.

    I call them the bit two, how silly of me!! Sainsbury's are now number two :)

    If people want really good value for money then stick to the offers because then they will really gain. Tesco made a major slip up last year and reduced a lot of items to 1p just to get shot of them. I could had bought a portable TV for a penny but instead I settled for half price because I knew it could had cost someone their job.

  11. I thought you'd be interested in that Allan.

    Well done to Sainsbury. Our local one is very small, and doesn't have much except food, but I was impressed with a staff member recently when I was looking for something, and he came and helped me, despite it being his day off and him only popping in for some shopping himself.

    I'm also immensely impressed by Morrison's.

  12. Tris

    Of course I'm not biased but Morrisson were my former employers lol.

  13. Ah, must have been your influence Allan; I'll look forward to Sainsbury's being as good in a few months!!