ASDA reported its worst sales performance in nearly a decade as it launched an unprecedented attack on Yorkshire rival Morrisons.
Leeds-based Asda accused its Bradford-based competitor of “printing £5 notes” in reference to Morrisons’ recent £5 off fruit and vegetables vouchers.
Asda’s chief merchandising officer Barry Williams said: “Our friends in Bradford have really pressed the voucher button. Mervyn King is alive and well in Bradford, undertaking quantitative easing.”
Mr Williams was referring to the former Bank of England governor’s money-printing programme.
“In my 25 years in the industry I’ve never seen vouchers like that,” he continued.
“These are desperate measures from a number of people in the market place. We will not be immune to some of the turbulence created by these panic tactics.”
Mr Williams accused all of his three main rivals, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons, of relying on vouchers to boost falling sales as they try to counteract the rising popularity of the discount stores like Lidl and Aldi.
He added that Asda’s competitors are failing to stick to their promised price cuts. “Some of our rivals are more chirpy chirpy than cheap cheap,” he said.
In the past there has been a gentleman’s agreement among the big retailers not to comment directly on rivals, but it appears that the usual rules have been thrown out amidst one of the bloodiest supermarket battles in decades.