Almost one in five products sold for a ‘round pound’ in an Asda campaign are more expensive than they were five months ago, research revealed. A total of 173 out of 969 products, or 18% were found to be more expensive in July than in March, with the Wal-Mart-owned grocer apparently rounding up rather than down, The Grocer reported. The magazine checked the prices of round pound items found recently on the Asda website against prices offered on 1 March. Of the 969 products looked at, it found 477 items were cheaper in July than March, 319 were exactly the same and 173 were actually more expensive, with 46 of these previously on sale at GBP0.90 (USD1.47) or less. The Asda campaign, launched at the beginning of the year, promises 7,000 items at one pound or less. Last month Asda Chief Merchandising Officer Darren Blackhurst told The Grocer: "We aren't rounding prices of products up to GBP1 (USD1.63), we are rounding them down."
Among the price rises are Asda chocolate spread, up from GBP0.74 (USD1.2) to GBP1 (USD1.63), a litre of Lucozade, up from GBP0.77 (USD1.25) to GBP1 (USD1.63), and Pedigree chicken dog treats, up from GBP0.67 (USD1.09) to GBP1 (USD1.63).
An Asda spokesman said: "This report is about as reliable as the British weather. Our commitment to customers is clear - we will always have 7,000 different products priced at GBP1 (USD1.63) or less. While those products might change, the value we offer remains the same - that's why we've been named Britain's lowest price supermarket for 12 years in a row."