Waitrose’s Pick Your Own Offers scheme helps drive 3% sales boost

Waitrose has impressed with its Pick Your Own Offers scheme and cited its contribution to a three per cent increase in sales and a growing market share that is helping it compete against the likes of Aldi and Lidl.

According to Kantar Worldpanel’s latest grocery share figures, published today for the 12 weeks ending 19 July 2015, Pick Your Own Offers has contributed to a 3.0 per cent increase in growth at Waitrose.

Its market share has consequently benefitted, rising to 5.0 per cent, an increase of 0.1 percentage points compared with last year.

Pick Your Own Offers was hailed a game-changing alternative to the mass discounting employed by the Big Four supermarkets when it launched at the start of June.

The strategy used by Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s et al recently came under fire from the Competition and Markets Authority, claiming they all use confusing and misleading offers to woo consumers. Thanks to such tactics groceries are now 1.6 per cent cheaper than a year ago.

However, instead of enticing shoppers in store, analysts predicted that the dazzling array of confusing offers would drive consumers to supermarkets where prices are either continually low, or where discounts are easy to understand.

Waitrose’s answer was a loyalty scheme where customers can pick 10 items out of 1,000 of the supermarket’s most popular products available that they want a 20 per cent discount on.

In comparisonto Waitrose's performance, Tesco suffered a 0.6 per cent fall in sales for the same period, Morrisons a 0.1 per cent drop, while Sainsbury’s lost 0.3 per cent in sales.

However, as a result of Asda’s mammoth 2.7 per cent fall in sales Sainsbury’s managed to edge its market share to 16.5 per cent, taking over Asda for the first time since January.

The Co-operative meanwhile returned to growth for the first time since July 2014, increasing its sales by 1.0 per cent.

Fraser McKevitt, head of consumer and retail insight at Kantar Worldpanel, added: “The Manchester-based grocer’s focus on its convenience offer has been rewarded with an increase in shopper numbers, which have risen by 133,000. While The Co-operative’s growth is slightly ahead of the market, its overall share of 6.3 per cent has remained the same as last year.”

Aldi sales grew by 16.6 per cent while Lidl saw growth of 11.3 per cent, meaning both have moved to new market share highs of 5.6 per cent and 4.0 per cent respectively.

Finally, Iceland sales were up by 3.0 per cent coinciding with its recent ‘Power of Frozen’ advertising campaign.

Overall grocery sales have increased by 0.8 per cent compared with a year ago.

McKevitt continued: “The continued slow growth of the overall market can be explained by minimal volume growth and lower like-for-like prices, both as a result of cheaper commodity prices and the fierce competition between supermarkets.”

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Jennifer Faull

Jen Faull is Brands Editor at The Drum. Based in London, she has interviewed major business figures including top marketers from Mondelez, Unilever, Tesco, and Lidl.

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