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Which day of the week do retailers implement price changes?

price-change

This question is often raised by retailers and manufacturers when discussing what key information they need in order to make the best decisions when planning and understanding competitors’ pricing and promotion strategies.

Brand View have taken a look at the price changes made by the UK’s major retailers across three key areas: Grocery, Health & Personal Care and General Merchandise. This analysis has been produced using one of our key reports – Pricing History – which many of our clients use on a daily basis to identify when prices change over a period of time.

Looking at the ‘big four’ UK supermarkets, we reviewed the number of price changes per retailer over a two month period across a selection of Grocery categories including: Carbonates, Milk, Sweet Spreads, Chilled Ready Meals, Cereals, Butters & Spreads and Savoury Spreads.

The review we have performed is based on online pricing and includes promotional price changes. Online price changes can differ from those in-store.

Number of price changes across a selection of Grocery categories (2 Jun - 1 Aug 2014)

The most significant number of price changes over this two month period took place on a Tuesday and Wednesday. Sainsbury’s make the largest number of price changes on a Tuesday, whereas Tesco make their price changes on a Wednesday. Asda and Waitrose appear to spread their price changes a little more evenly throughout the week, although Waitrose have made marginally more price changes on a Tuesday and Asda have made more price changes on a Friday.

In reviewing Health & Personal Care, we have taken a look at when Boots and Superdrug change their prices and also included Tesco and Sainsbury’s due to the size of their ranges in this sector. We selected a number of categories including: Deodorant, Health and Vitamins, Facial Moisturiser, Facial Cleansing and Toothpaste.

Number of price changes across a selection of Health & Personal Care categories (2 Jun - 1 Aug 2014)

As with the Grocery sector, the most significant number of price changes take place on a Tuesday and Wednesday, but Wednesday is the more common day for price changes in this case. Boots and Superdrug have both made the vast majority of their price changes on a Wednesday over the two month time period, with Sainsbury’s and Tesco opting to make most of their price changes on a Tuesday.

The price changes in the General Merchandise sector appear to be more evenly spread than in Grocery and Health & Personal Care. The following chart is based on a selection of categories including: Dishwashers, Fridge Freezers, Garden Storage, Kitchen Furniture, Laptops, Mattresses, Mens Clothing, Microwave Ovens, Sofas, Televisions, Washing Machines and Women’s Clothing.

Number of price changes across a selection of General Merchandise categories (2 Jun - 1 Aug 2014)

The analysis shows that there are a significant number of price changes made on each day of the week when compared with Grocery and Health & Personal Care, particularly in Argos and John Lewis. However, there are a larger number of price changes made on Wednesdays and Thursdays across all four of the above retailers, which is arguably driven by Sainsbury’s making more price changes on a Wednesday and Tesco making most of theirs on a Thursday.

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