Supermarket group Asda has today looked to undermine high street retailer WHSmith by claiming its prices for stationery products are too high.
The grocer claims that when it comes to pens, rulers, ringbinders and pads it has reduced it prices to less than half of those at its high street rival, and has proclaimed “WHSmith stationery prices are too stationary – they’re a rip-off and need to come down”.
As the build up to the lucrative ‘back-to-school’ trading period begins Asda has claimed that a basket of 20 like-for-like (LFL) stationery products is more than 50 per cent cheaper than at WHSmith, which traditionally does very well at this time of year due to its extensive range of student and pupil related products.
David Walker, Stationery Expert at Asda, said: “If the cost of buying a basket of essentials from the UK’s most famous stationers is double the price you’d pay at Asda, it’s very important that shoppers know that.
“It’s easy to spend upwards of £30 on back to school stationery even at Asda prices. The idea that it would cost you more than £60 for the same at WH Smith just makes no sense at all. You could pick up three complete school uniforms at Asda on the savings made.”
Asda published stable second quarter results yesterday, reporting a LFL sales rise of 0.5 per cent year-on-year for the period but a decline in operating income due to the rebranding & refurbishment work carried out at hundreds of smaller outlets previously owned by Netto.
Deals promoted by the supermarket as part of its back-to-school range include 50p flexible rulers, 100-sheet A4 notebooks for £1.37 and a pack of ten dividers at 45p, which it claims would cost £2.19, £1.37 and £2.49 respectively at WHSmith.