Waitrose is investing £100 million on price cuts on hundreds of its own-brand items, despite fierce competition in the sector and consumers facing record inflation.
The premium retailer is slashing the costs of over a third of its lowest-priced Essential Waitrose line by an average of 14%, with nearly a quarter of the cuts, which go into effect on Wednesday, being 20% or higher.
The supermarket’s statement comes after food price inflation reached a record 16.7% in the four weeks ending 22 January, the highest level since analysts Kantar began tracking the data in 2008.
Households will now face an additional £788 on their annual shopping bills if they do not adjust their spending habits.
According to Kantar, competition in the British grocery business is “as severe as it’s ever been” as shops compete to retain customers.
Grocers have been expanding their own-label offerings in particular, with sales of these lines increasing steadily over the last nine months and by 9.3% in January – far outpacing branded alternatives, which increased by only 1%.
“We recognize that delivering value for money has never been more vital for everyone,” Waitrose executive director James Bailey said. As a result, we’re lowering the costs of hundreds of ordinary items ranging from carrots to butter to tea and coffee, with many being reduced by 20% or more.”
Despite the price decreases, the company stated that it was dedicated to keeping its promises to its farmers and suppliers.