Morrisons is to provide a post-referendum boost to shoppers by cutting the price of more than 1,000 products by an average of 18%.
The reductions are the latest phase of the battle between Britain’s largest supermarkets to win back customers who have turned to the discounters Aldi and Lidl.
They will be introduced from Monday, and include cutting the price of 1kg of beef mince from £3.86 to £3 and 750g of chicken thighs from £2.25 to £1.57. The supermarket is also reducing the price of toiletries and seasonal fruit and vegetables by as much as 56%. Overall it will cut prices on 1,045 products.
The fact the reductions are being introduced after the EU referendum is significant, because analysts said the vote could lead to inflation in supermarket prices. This is because the fall in the value of sterling since the vote has made importing ingredients and products more expensive.
Morrisons hopes the price cuts will reassure its customers. Consumer confidence suffered its biggest fall in more than 26 years in July, market researchers GfK said last week, as households become gloomier about the economy and their finances following the referendum.
The latest supermarket figures from Kantar Worldpanel show sales in the industry fell by 1.1% in the four weeks to 17 July, the worst performance for at least two years. Analysts, however, blamed the performance on disappointing summer weather compared with the same time last year, rather than the fallout from Britain’s vote to leave the EU.
All of the “big four” grocery chains – Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons – suffered a decline in their sales.
Andy Atkinson, Morrisons’ customer and marketing director, said: “We are constantly listening to our customers and know they are concerned about whether food prices will go up following the Brexit vote, especially on imports.
“Morrisons is unique as a food-maker and shopkeeper, and unlike the rest of the industry manufactures food, both in our own food processing plants and our 500 stores.
“We are British farming’s biggest supermarket customer, which means we can better control our prices, and this latest round of crunches demonstrates our commitment to offering the best possible value to our customers this summer.”
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