In recent months, leading U.K. grocers Tesco, Sainsbury's and Asda have been hyping their price-matching programs, promising shoppers the lowest price. But an independent study by the consumer group Which? shows that they seem to be comparing apples to oranges.
According to the report, which was based on an analysis of 59 mystery shopper trips, the retailers all used different standards and methodologies when comparing themselves to the competition. Sainsbury's, for instance, only takes into account branded products, while Asda and Tesco include store brands. It is also murky how the retailers decide what constitutes a "comparable item."
Which? Executive Director Richard Lloyd spoke to U.K.-based Marketing Week about the study:
Supermarket price-matching schemes can save you money, but we believe they should be taken with a pinch of salt because they are difficult to compare. At a time when consumers are facing a squeeze on their household incomes, we want all the supermarkets to do whatever they can to help consumers find the best deal.
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