Talk of New Supermarket Price War Hits UK

LONDON - Two of the UK's biggest supermarkets, Tesco and Wal-Mart-owned Asda, have announced price cuts to lure shoppers through their doors, BBC news reports.

Tesco said it was cutting GBP 80 million ($129 million) from the price of more than 1,000 products with some prices falling by nearly a third.

Asda said it would be cutting some prices in its George clothing range.

Kevin Hawkins, a director of the country's fourth biggest supermarket, Safeway, told a BBC radio program that he viewed the reductions with some skepticism.

"We have these so-called price wars about three times a year. Typically in the two or three months leading up to one of these initiatives, prices are increased," he said, adding that while the price reductions were being highlighted, the cost of other goods would go up.

Tesco director John Gildersleeve said some customers have said they plan to cut spending this year.

An Asda spokeswoman called her company's clothing price cuts permanent.

"The reason we can do this is because we were bought by Wal-Mart in 1999 so we have much more buying power," she noted.
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