Friday, 2 January 2009

Asda becomes a pound shop

Those of you who don't read the tabloids may have missed the report in the Mirror today that Asda is trying to outdo Poundland by putting a whole load of lines on offer for £1. If you've got an Asda nearby and they're lines you buy regularly it's certainly worth taking advantage although I'd take care a) not to buy something for which there is a cheaper alternative and b) not to buy too many of the lines that aren't marked down (the new cunning wheeze from supermarkets being to bump up the price of anything that isn't on special offer)

Offers that would tempt me (assuming they're actually available*) include a £1.33 reduction on Kellogg's Fruit and Fibre cereal from £2.33 to £1 and the New Covent Garden's soups down from £1.97 to £1. But even at £1 you can find cheaper ketchups than Heinz and make a pasta sauce for less than the £1 Asda will charge you for a jar of Loyd Grossman Tomato and Basil sauce.

My daughter who lives in York tells me this is no big deal and that Poundland (to which she is devoted) has similar offers. I'll have to check out our local branch.

* I say this because one of you has reported she couldn't find any of the advertised offers in her local Asda. As you'll see from the comments below they don't actually guarantee to have them available which is more than a bit cheeky.


Slice of life said...

We have both a poundshop and a shop which I think is independantly owned which is a 99p shop. I find most of my toiletries in the 99p for obviously 99p where for instance my shampoo, brunette pantene is £2.37 in tesco. So I am also devoted to these shops.

Sometimes it is a bit hit and miss, so if you see something you use often and it is a non perishable item, you should stock up.

As you have said it is a marketing promotion to get you through the door. somewhere they will make up the lose. Great post

Anonymous said...

I would be interested to see a full list of the Asda items they have reduced to £1. I used to shop at Adsa quite a lot, but then I changed jobs and I don't go to the neighbouring town where the Asda is located as much now. I would consider chnaging supermarkets though as we have a big Tesco here and it's getting more expensive by the day!!

I use a shop called Heron quite a bit for cheap foods, but as the above post mentioned it can be hit and miss even with this stuff as it's usually limited by a short shelf life. However cannot praise the sliced meat enough, at 99p it's a bargain!!

Fiona Beckett said...

Interesting feedback, both of you. Asda was also promoting cheap cleaning products and toiletries too so they're obviously chasing the Poundland market.

I really think we're seeing a new type of supermarket shopping emerging, a combination of eye-catching offers and sudden, inexplicable price rises which means you need to be twice as careful - or of course shop at local shops or markets where prices are much more stable.

Anyone else got any experience of pound shops?

notSupermum said...

I've just come back from Asda and didn't see any evidence of these £1 product lines. I wonder if it's a regional thing or not yet started?

Asda always have special offers on, although it's usually on a named brand (i.e. Heinz ketchup) yet it's still cheaper to buy the own brand Asda ketchup at the normal low price.

I've resolved to do planned shops this year, and I'll be doing the majority of my shopping at Aldi if possible, although they are limited on some of the items I like to buy.

Fiona Beckett said...

Assumed it was national, given it was advertised over a full page spread in the Daily Mirror but I didn't examine the small print which says the offers are available in "the majority of stores" and online "subject to availability". A useful getout . . .

So sorry if you've been on a wild goose chase notSupermum

Career Misfit said...

Bit hurried at the moment but Asda aren't the only ones reconsidering what a pound can buy you: this pub meals for a pound story caught my eye as I popped online briefly earlier. Mind you, once you're done paying your bus fare it doesn't seem quite so cheap all of a sudden...!

Greenlady said...

I sometimes buy household goods at poundshops but toiletries, rarely ( you can get some bargains on brand name stuff but have to be wary as some stuff is cheaper elsewhere ) and never food - mainly because pound shops near me never have anything I would want to buy in a culinary sense, I don't want bumper packs of generic honobs or economy sized instant tea.

Yes I agree, its a ploy, you get to ASDA, they don't have some or most of the stuff you have seen advertised but o well, you're there now, might as well buy something ! *sound of kerching cash registers* This is one of the many reasons you couldn't pay me to shop at ASDA's ( or Tesco's for that matter ) Nothing to do with any kind of snob mentality and everything to do with many issues I have with them.

Tabby said...

I agree that you can find some fantastic bargains, as long as you keep your wits about you and remember that these shops don't offer massive discounts out of the kindness of their hearts - it is all part of a well thoguht out marketing strategy to increase their profits! So go in with a plan and keep your eyes straight ahead!

And as for poundland I have had some great bargains from there over the years, including baking trays that lasted me years and food storage boxes that cost five times that price in other shops.

Fiona Beckett said...

I spotted that pub meals for a pound, Career Misfit. Was thinking of knocking up some stovies . . .

Agree, it's not just Asda, greenlady. It's the whole way supermarkets operate. If you look at that whole £1 veg thing that Aldi kicked off, most people would do better in their local greengrocer or street market.

And good point about food storage boxes, Tabby. Now that Woolies has gone where else can you buy them :(

Anonymous said...

I wrote the anonymous post (second post) which is above.

I went to Asda today, couldn't see too many of these £1 would have been nice to know EXACTLY what they were, like listed on the website or whatever.

But, anyway I spent less at Asda on my weekly shop than I would have done at Tesco so that made me happy!

Aldi do 39p fruit and veg, when it's in stock.

Fiona Beckett said...

Thanks for letting me know. Does seem - Aldi or Asda - that there are a limited number of these offers and it is hard to see from the website exactly what they are. Glad you cut the cost of your shopping anyway!