British supermarket Waitrose cuts prices on 200 products
LONDON (Reuters) – British supermarket group Waitrose said on Monday it had reduced the price of more than 200 products as part of a 100 million pound ($126 million) plan announced earlier this year in the fight to retain customers struggling with high inflation.
Food prices are up more than 19% over the last year, outpacing the broader inflation rate and adding strain to household budgets being stretched by high energy bills and other price increases.
Waitrose, part of the employee-owned John Lewis Partnership, said products on which it had lowered prices included butter, tomato ketchup and golden caster sugar, as well as salads and ice cream, with half of the products now at least 10% cheaper.
“We’ll still react to any drops in food inflation and pass on savings to our customers as soon as the prices we pay begin to fall,” said Charlotte Di Cello, Waitrose’s commercial director.
Monthly industry data has consistently shown Waitrose losing market share and underperforming rivals including industry leader Tesco and No. 2 Sainsbury’s, as well as German-owned discounters Aldi and Lidl.
Weekly pricing data from industry publication The Grocer also regularly shows Waitrose to be the most expensive of Britain’s major grocers for a basket of goods.
In February, Waitrose cut prices on more than 300 own-brand products and said on Monday that had already helped it attract new customers.
Others have cut some prices, with Tesco last month reducing the price of its own-brand pasta, vegetable and sunflower oil, and Sainsbury’s lowering the price of bread and butter.
($1 = 0.7956 pounds)
(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; editing by Jason Neely)