M & S lowers the prices of 500 of the most popular foods in supermarket battles
Marks & Spencer has lowered the prices of nearly 500 of the most popular foods, as it withdraws to win back customers and stop falling sales.
The High Street chain has dramatically reduced prices for products such as chocolate eggs and leg of lamb, in time for Easter.
A bottle of Limestone Coast Sauvignon now costs £ 7 compared to £ 10 a year ago, with a family bag of salmon fillet reduced from £ 13 to £ 11. It also sells 20 percent more Easter eggs for £ 5 and less than last year.
Marks & Spencer has dramatically lowered prices for products such as chocolate eggs and lamb legs, in time for Easter
Food chief Stuart Machin said that M&S is trying to be special and relevant, with prizes to shout & # 39 ;.
It is the latest move by chief executive Steve Rowe and chairman Archie Norman to revive fortunes by attracting more families.
The food industry of M & S, which has long been the crown jewel, has cost a lot of effort in recent years, as customers are driven by bargains at German rivals Aldi and Lidl.
Due to the fall in prices, the cost of an Easter lunch for eight people at M&S is now £ 3.03 lower than a year earlier, at £ 34.18, making it cheaper than Sainsbury's and Waitrose.
Good Housekeeping magazine, which performed the price comparisons of Easter lunches in 10 supermarkets, called the cuts & # 39; a deliberate price-saving move & # 39 ;.
Machin said: & We are in the early stages of our transformation plan to extend the appeal of our food to customers of family life and to make M & S more relevant.
& # 39; You see this shift in our marketing campaign. M & S no longer positions itself as special and different, but special and relevant, with prizes to shout about. & # 39;
The far-reaching reductions are part of a drastic renewal of the food division.
It has signed a £ 1.5 billion deal with Ocado to launch an online grocery delivery service for the first time, and the retailer plans to open larger M&S Food supermarkets to attract more families.
Critics believe it pays too much for the tie, which means the end for Ocado & # 39; s 19-year partnership with Waitrose. Some Ocado customers have already threatened to leave, and complain that M & S is more expensive than Waitrose.
Norman brought in last year's protege Machin to breathe new life into the struggling food industry. The couple worked together at Asda and the Australian supermarket Target, where Norman is still the chairman.
In an effort to make the more expensive grocery more accessible, Machin has plastered food prices for the first time on advertisements from M&S and signed a sponsorship agreement with the family television program Britain & # 39; s Got Talent.
Recently he revived his famous & # 39; This is not just food, this is M & S Food & # 39; advertising campaign, 12 years after it was first launched.
And he has also expanded portion sizes, bringing in family-sized shepherd's pie and pizzas.
It is clear that Machin wants to increase M & S's food sales by a third in the coming years.
… but Lidl is the cheapest for Easter
LIDL is called the cheapest supermarket for Easter.
The discounter was the best in a Good Housekeeping survey about how much it costs to eat eight people for Easter.
Each basket consisted of a 2 kg leg of lamb, a bag of potatoes, peas, carrots, mint sauce, warm herb grapes and two bottles of Prosecco.
At Lidl the costs were £ 20.71 or £ 2.59 per person. Rival Aldi was close behind at £ 21.63 and Morrison's third cheapest at £ 24.89. Of the 10 respondents, Waitrose was the most expensive £ 37.03.