Asda has vowed to change the way it operates a number of its promotions, following an investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

The CMA said it has had “particular engagement with Asda in relation to specific areas of concern” throughout the course of its investigations which began last year.

The changes would give customers confidence they were getting a good deal, the CMA added.  

  • ‘Now’ prices will not be advertised for longer than the ‘was’ price applied, ensuring they are a meaningful comparison.
  • Multi-buy offers will represent better value than a single product before the offer.
  • Multi-buy offers will not be immediately followed by ‘was/now’ promotions, so it will be easier for shoppers to tell what is a good offer.

The CMA has met with a number of supermarkets and asked them to work with their Trading Standards Services partners to review their pricing and promotional practices.

Michael Grenfell, CMA executive director of enforcement, said: “The CMA’s examination of the market, following the super-complaint, found that supermarkets generally take compliance seriously, but there were some promotional practices that could mislead shoppers.

“We welcome the commitment we have received from Asda as well as the engagement from other supermarkets, and expect them all to ensure that their practices are not misleading and that shoppers are better informed and able to choose the products that most suit their needs.”

Asda has already started making changes to the operation of its ‘was/now’ and multi-buy promotions. These will be fully implemented by August 2016 and the CMA will check how they are working six months later.