Tesco will target deals according to the income of the people living near it’s stores

Tesco is to start customising its in-store products and promotions according to the income of local families, retail magazine The Grocer is reporting.

As part of the strategy, value-brand products will be promoted more heavily in poorer areas, while the supermarket’s Finest range of goods will fill more shelves in richer neighbourhoods. Stores will also tailor their promotions and discounts according to what they believe will suit customers in each particular area/region.

The supermarket has stressed that there will be no variance in the price of non-discount goods across its branches.

However, given the vast amount of deals on offer in Tesco stores, it’s clear that a shopper in a more affluent area might end up paying significantly more for their basket of goods than someone in a less well-off part of town.

Tesco squeezed at both ends While the supermarket already tailors its products based on the shopping habits of its Clubcard members, this takes the strategy to a new level.

Perhaps one of the reasons behind the controversial move is the fact that its rivals have been eating into its share of the market.

Discount chains like Aldi and Lidl have been enjoying double digit sales growth in recent years, while stores like Waitrose and Sainsbury’s have been applying pressure at the higher end of the market.

Make no mistake: the supermarket giant is feeling the pressure, having issued its first profit warning for 20 years at the start of January.

The Grocer reports that Tesco will initially trial the strategy in around 300 of its stores.

Half-price at Tesco is no cheaper than full-price rivals as Tesco offers dubbed the big price con

Half-price at Tesco is no cheaper than full-price rivals

Tesco offers dubbed the price big con

Other supermarkets selling frozen turkeys at the same price as ‘discount’

For Christmas shoppers watching their pennies, the offer of a half-price frozen turkey sounds too good to miss.

Unfortunately, Tesco’s heavily promoted deal is not all that it seems.

Too good to be true? Tesco's heavily-promoted half-price turkey is not all that it seems

Rival supermarkets are selling their own frozen turkeys for around the same price –  without the supposed 50 per cent discount.

A Tesco half-price, extra-large frozen  turkey is reduced to £25 from £50, while the equivalent bird sold by Asda is available at the full price of £24.

In theory, stores are supposed to advertise a product at the higher price for at least 28 days before using it as a benchmark for any price cut promotions.

Tesco insists that it complied with this rule by selling the turkeys at their full original price during the summer months of August and September – when very few shoppers would want a frozen turkey.

The Tesco offer reinforces the view that supermarkets try to pull the wool over customers’ eyes with bogus deals.

Some 42 per cent of shoppers do not believe that all offers are genuine, according to an Ipsos MORI survey last week.

The Office of Fair Trading is under pressure to prosecute supermarkets who mislead shoppers.

How the birds compare

Tesco’s turkey offers, which appear on its website, promise that small, medium and large frozen birds will all be half-price until December 27.

But Asda’s prices, without any claimed price cuts, are virtually identical.

They come in at £24 for an extra-large turkey, £20 for a large, £16 for a medium and £12 for a small.

The only apparent difference between the two types of frozen turkey is that Tesco describes its birds as ‘basted’.

Sainsbury’s has a number of Bernard Matthews turkeys. Again the full-price for these is close to the half-price figure claimed by Tesco.

One industry insider criticised the Tesco tactics, saying: ‘It is meant to be the season of goodwill but clearly all Tesco is interested in is confusing its customers.’

Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd, said: ‘Supermarkets must do more to help people in tough times by offering real deals, not fake price cuts, and by making it easier to compare prices.

Fair game: Tesco insists that it complied with consumer rules by selling the turkeys at their full original price during the summer months of August and SeptemberFair game: Tesco insists that it complied with consumer rules by selling the turkeys at their full original price during the summer months of August and September

‘With family budgets under pressure from all sides, promised price cuts must be genuine.’

Tesco insisted the claimed  savings are real.

A spokesman said: ‘We cannot comment on how competitors  market or price their products. We are focused on providing great value for our customers.

‘Tesco own-brand frozen turkeys are a new range this year, introduced to stores in August, which are now part of a genuine half price offer.’

Which? has found that 40 per cent of us will be buying less food this year and one in four will spend less on the Christmas meal.

Four in ten will make savings by shopping at cheaper stores like Aldi and Lidl, while a third will be trading down on products.

Mr Lloyd said: ‘The good news  is that own-brand foods can taste just as good as premium brands, if not better, even for classics like champagne and mince pies.’

Tesco’s heavily promoted half price deal is not all that it seems.

Tesco customers claim that prices were increased in August,  so Tesco could then claim when it launched it’s price drop campaign in September that prices were cheaper but many items had already been sold at the lower price before it’s price drop .

Tins of  Quality Street the store claimed they were £10 but were now half price but the store has been selling the tins at £5 for some weeks.

If they were really half price the store should be selling them at £2.50. Many of it’s so called offers are misleading if not illegal it was claimed.

Tesco said some of the things highlighted were down to human error.

Earlier this week the BBC show PANORAMA: made the same claims as customers.