Tesco, Asda Cut Prices as U.K. Supermarkets Battle for Shoppers

(Bloomberg) — Tesco Plc and Wal-Mart Store Inc.’s Asda, the two biggest U.K. supermarket chains, plan to cut prices for a second time this year as they battle to prevent discount competitors making inroads into their market share.

Cheshunt, England-based Tesco will reduce the cost of 3,000 so-called every day items such as fresh meat and baby food, the company said today in an e-mailed statement. Asda similarly plans to cut the price of 5,000 “every day essentials,” according to a statement on the retailer’s Web site.

Both supermarkets have stepped up promotional offers since January to prevent more shoppers turning to discount retailers such as Germany’s Aldi Group and Lidl. Tesco’s market share has fallen in the last three months, according to research company Taylor Nelson Sofres Plc. The retailer this month increased its range of low-price branded products and in January reduced prices of more than 3,000 items following cuts at Asda.

“Millions of customers are right now worrying about how they are going to make this month’s pay packet stretch until the next one arrives,” Richard Brasher, Tesco’s commercial and marketing director, said in a statement.

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