Tesco, Asda and Morrisons have all announced reductions, although Sainsbury's, despite spearheading a price offensive last year, has so far steered clear of the current round of cuts.
Asda struck first by revealing it would be slashing prices on 10,000 items and investing £250m in the process. Tesco responded by promising £270m-worth of price cuts on 3,000 products, while Morrisons said a further 2,000 lower prices would come into effect in its stores within two weeks.
But c-store retailers labelled the price war as phoney and nothing more than an attempt to gain free publicity.
Mace retailer Tim Lake from Fareham, Hampshire, told Convenience Store: "It's a great way for the supermarkets to get publicity at no real cost. I don't think it really means much. The kind of publicity they've gained from this would have cost them a huge amount anyway, so overall they're probably saving money."
Londis retailer Arjan Mehr from Bracknell, Berkshire, agreed: "I believe it's a phoney war. I don't think there's any need to panic as I believe the cuts are superficial. Independent retailers just need to maintain or raise their standards and concentrate on improving their own stores."