Sainsbury’s News Update: The Conflict With Tesco Reaches High Court

Sainsbury's Tesco High Court Battle Price Comparison

Sainbury’s news update: after another rejection by a neutral party over the break of contract claims aimed at Tesco, Sainsbury’s take them to the high court.

With the battle hotting up between the top four supermarkets operating through the UK and who offers the best deals, the conflict between the top two – Tesco and Sainbury’s – has reached boiling point with Sainsbury’s taking Tesco to the high court of their price comparison campaign.

Sainbury’s launched a price comparison scheme wherein they automatically compared all prices in customers’ baskets and then, if it was found that the customer could have purchased any or all of the items for a lesser charge at an alternative supermarket, Sainsbury’s would issue a voucher for the difference. Thus it appears that the customer is saving money. Tesco have now launched essentially the same scheme and Sainsbury’s are less than impressed.

The number two supermarket – a recent acclaim following the usurpation of Wal-Mart’s Asda – have complained to the Advertising Standard’s Agency (ASA) but have been kicked back twice now, hence the acceleration of their complaint to the high court now.

Sainsbury’s News Update

Sainsbury’s complaint is structured around the comparisons in detail as opposed to the idea of comparing prices in order to offer customers the best service possible. Sainsbury’s argument is that the comparison of Tesco’s ‘Everyday’ ham and Sainsbury’s ‘basics’ ham is not a fair comparison. This is because the Tesco version has no specific geographic origin, it is simply registered as within the European Union whereas Sainsbury’s is specifically British; the insinuation that the two cannot be compared.

Mike Coupe, Sainsbury’s commercial director, explained that this was a matter of principle – you cannot compare home-brand products because part of that definition is that they originate from different sources.

Sainsbury’s have found themselves backed from their partners, Fairtrade, the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and animal welfare charity the RSPCA. Despite the regulators siding with Tesco twice now, the support Sainsbury’s have received from their partners is enough to prove that they are determined to continue their campaign and have the relevant support to suggest they are not being petty.

Supermarkets will always clash, they are all vying for the top spot, to be the most popular supermarket in the UK so conflicts such as this one are bound to happen. The difference with this particular instance is the serious displeasure that the Sainsbury’s are feeling is be escalated to a point where they are essentially battling until they get the result they wish; two regulatory bodies have ruled on the side of Tesco now.

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