Shoppers asking supermarket cashiers to stop at £30 spend
The chairman of the supermarket giant Asda, Lord Rose, has told the BBC that some Asda shoppers are asking cashiers to stop scanning items when the till total hits £30.00 as they try to cut costs.
The statement comes at a time of rising food prices together with a wide range of other inflationary pressures.
Lord Rose added that more customers were switching to budget ranges with people worried about rising prices. He told the BBC “What we’re seeing is a massive change in behaviour.”
The Asda chairman said he saw the rise of inflation coming back last year like a “train coming through a tunnel with a big flashing light on the top”. He added: “Now it’s time to fasten our seatbelts.”
Lord Rose is a highly respected executive and has 50 years of retailing and industry experience, including a high profile period when leading Marks & Spencer, and commented that he remembered the ‘runaway inflation’ of the 1970s and said this bout of rising prices has come as a very nasty surprise for many consumers. “I’m of the generation that remembers what it was like last time,” he said.
The BBC report goes on to say that Asda has been tracking disposable income since the financial crisis in 2008 and the supermarket is very aware of the squeeze on consumers disposable income. Latest data from Asda suggests households had, on average, £44 less a week in discretionary income in May compared with a year ago, down nearly 18%.
The UK’s third biggest multiple grocer has recently announced that it has expanded its cut price groceries with a new range, Just Essentials, covering around 300 products. This at a time when all the large grocers are trying to keep prices as low and competitive as possible, particularly on popular everyday items. It is widely anticipated that increasingly, some customers will shop around for best buys.
The Asda chairman also said he did not want to predict where food prices will be by the end of the year, but he would like to see more government support for those most in need.