Sainsbury steps up Tesco assault

Sainsbury's is stepping up its attack on Tesco with a new promotional programme for its loyalty card. From tomorrow Sainsbury's is giving away extra points on a range of more than 200 products.

Customers can claim the points on their Reward card. These can either be redeemed against future shopping bills or doubled if spent on Sainsbury's offers with BT, Beefeater, Sketchley or TGI Friday's.

Products listed in the promotion include Nescafe coffee, Tetley tea bags, and Heinz soups. Sainsbury's claims that a family spending pounds 75 a week would earn enough Air Miles points to qualify for four flights to Paris within a month. Kevin McCarten, marketing director, claimed the development made Sainsbury's card the best in the sector.

The move comes in the same week as Sainsbury's announced a 14 per cent drop in first-half profits to pounds 393m together with disappointing sales figures. Last week it announced plans for a new Sainsbury's Bank which will start operating in the new year. The move is part of an attempt to wrest the marketing initiative away from rivals Tesco and Asda.

Safeway responded with an initiative of a different sort. It is pioneering the cause of the British-produced baked bean. From Monday more than 350,000 tins of Safeway British baked beans will hit the shelves. Safeway claims that a switch to UK production could save Britain pounds 40m a year in imports.

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