Tesco have the worst track record for advertising promotional items that are then unavailable in stores when customers visit to buy. (The Grocer)

A study carried out by the Institute of Promotional Marketing concluded that up to 40% of Tesco customers visiting to purchase items promoted as available were unable to buy them. The next worse was Asda which let down 23% of bargain hunters, with Lidl and Sainsbury’s at 21%, Aldi at 19%, Morrison’s at 18%, Waitrose at 2% and Budgen’s at 1%.

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is currently carrying out its own investigations into the promotional tactics of supermarkets, to see if any consumer protection legislation is being breached.

The editor’s own negative experience of Tesco was visiting their St Neots, Cambs store recently to buy pork shoulder joint advertised at “half price” for £2.22 per kilo. This was unavailable at the store, and the unimpressive management there refused a reasonable request to supply the pork shoulder joints that were in store as a replacement on the basis, as they stated smugly, that “it’s not that actual product”. Some of the smugness evaporated when asked if the actual product had been injected with extra water to make it cheaper but it was a waste of time trying to get them to do the ethical thing. All they would do was issue a ”Special offer promise voucher”, worthless when the actual product was never going to be available, and promise to get someone to make contact, a promise that Tesco, three weeks on, have yet to keep.

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