The UK’s third largest supermarket Sainsbury’s is to refund the difference on branded goods which are sold cheaper at its two main rivals, as part of a new price match scheme being trialled from this week.
Initially launching in Northern Ireland, Sainsbury’s Brand Match scheme uses point-of-sale technology to reward customers with coupons whenever they purchase branded goods at the supermarket which have a higher price than at Tesco or Asda.
Brand Match calculates the difference between the prices at the three leading grocers automatically, using data from independent price check service Brandview.co.uk, and coupons are automatically produced to the value owed.
Mike Coupe, Sainsbury’s Group Commercial Director, said: “Sainsbury’s Brand Match marks a huge step forward in the supermarket shopping experience and we’re delighted customers in Northern Ireland will be the first to trial it.
“We’ve always been committed to offering the best price on brands and by developing and installing innovative technology in our stores we can reassure every customer that they’re paying the same for their basket of branded grocery goods every time they shop with us.”
An initial trial will begin in 12 Sainsbury’s outlets in Northern Ireland from August 17th 2011, with a roll-out across the UK set to follow if it proves successful.
Customers will be able to buy up to ten identical items in a single transaction and still qualify for full difference between basket prices, but Sainsbury’s says that it is so confident that it will be beaten on so few branded goods that the maximum value of a Brand match coupon will be £20.
Promotions from Tesco and Asda, such as buy-one-get-one-free deals, will also be included in the scheme but only when a customer buys the appropriate number of goods to qualify for the discount at a rival store.
Coupe continued: “If your basket of branded grocery goods is cheaper at Tesco or Asda, Sainsbury’s Brand Match technology allows us to us to issue a coupon for the difference immediately.
“We want to give shoppers a no-hassle experience; we understand they don’t want to spend time constantly checking prices or logging onto a computer to print out a coupon at home. Quite simply, we’re doing the maths and the work so they don’t have to!”
Competing price match schemes launched earlier this year by Asda and Tesco proved controversial, with both grocers complaining to the Advertising Standards Authority that each others’ initiatives were misleading to the consumer.