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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Martin
    • By MSE Martin 4th Apr 07, 5:08 PM
    • 8,111Posts
    • 42,248Thanks
    MSE Martin
    0 WOW
    Great 'supermarket staff tell us your reduction policies' hunt
    • #1
    • 4th Apr 07, 5:08 PM
    0 WOW
    Great 'supermarket staff tell us your reduction policies' hunt 4th Apr 07 at 5:08 PM
    UPDATE NOTE: The info from this discussion has now been collated and is part of the full "How to cut the cost of supermarket shopping article"




    The very best supermarket reductions are on fresh goods that are going out of date, but what’s the best time to grab these bargains?

    I’d like any MoneySavers who work or have worked at any of the big supermarkets to dish the dirt on stores’ official reduction policies. This way we’ll be able to spot patterns and figure out the best times to get down to the reduced aisle.

    Please let me know:
    • Which supermarket do you work for/did you work for?
    • What times of day do you reduce prices?
    • How big are the discounts? (If the computer does it automatically, do a rough estimate)
    • What time is the final, final reduction (to 10p-ish)?
    • Who has the authority to reduce prices?
    • If a customer asked you to reduce something because it’s on it’s sell-by date are you allowed to?
    • Does it vary if it’s a 24-hour store?
    • And any other useful tips …
    Last edited by MSE Andrea; 08-12-2007 at 12:24 AM.
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
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Page 1
  • sancho
    • #2
    • 4th Apr 07, 5:15 PM
    • #2
    • 4th Apr 07, 5:15 PM
    I used to be a baker at morissons, we would reduce the stuff with one day's life, doughnuts, french sticks etc at about 5pm, by about 25%, then take it down by another half about an hour before the store closed, this is about the best time to go.

    The stuff with 2 days life, (bread loaves we baked) would get brought in at the end of the day, sliced and put back out the next day to be sold in the morning, so if you're buying bread in morrisons always ask for it to be sliced to make sure it is that days!!
    He who laughs last, thinks slowest
    • safesound
    • By safesound 4th Apr 07, 7:04 PM
    • 1,148 Posts
    • 797 Thanks
    safesound
    • #3
    • 4th Apr 07, 7:04 PM
    • #3
    • 4th Apr 07, 7:04 PM
    I work for Somerfields on the meat dept and when I do my own reductions I do them first thing (ie, 8am) but there is no hard and fast rule about when they get done. The way they reduce them goes like this; the following days date gets 25% off, current date gets 50% off during the day and then 75% off in the evening after 6pm. At any point you can ask for the discount to be applied if it isnt already marked but we cannot reduce items before time unless there is many to sell. For instance I recently had 25 sirloin steaks with the following days date so I marked them down to 50% there and then (should have been 25%) so they would sell quicker as its better to get something than have to waste them.
    Be friendly to staff as I'm less likely to go out of my way for someone who is rude (common sense really) but if we tell you we cant do something the chances are we cant, moaning or asking other staff just makes us less likely to help you in the future.
  • Jo_R
    • #4
    • 4th Apr 07, 10:45 PM
    • #4
    • 4th Apr 07, 10:45 PM

    Please let me know:
    • Which supermarket do you work for/did you work for? I used to work at Asda Wal-Mart in the bakery
    • What times of day do you reduce prices?Would start mid-morning with the longer-life stuff such as cookies, flapjack, fruit pies etc. The one-day life stuff we would wait until mid-afternoon, such as fresh white loaves. Then again come 5pm, and again later if necessary.
    • How big are the discounts? (If the computer does it automatically, do a rough estimate)Done by computer. It really did vary depending on how many of the item there is (the more there is, the higher the discount) and the time of day - the later the reductions were done, the more they would be discounted by.
    • What time is the final, final reduction (to 10p-ish)?We'd want to get everything cleared ideally by the end of the evening shift at 10pm, but earlier if possible.
    • Who has the authority to reduce prices?Any member of the team who is asked by the department manager - there would be particular people responsible on any given shift.
    • If a customer asked you to reduce something because itís on itís sell-by date are you allowed to?Going back a little here - if we're talking use-by dates as in very short-life products then it depends on the product and the time of day. First thing probably not, except for sandwiches. Anything else then around mid-morning and after, yes.
    • Does it vary if itís a 24-hour store?Where I worked was, it just meant that anything left reduced but not bought could be put at the front of the store for anyone coming in before midnight to check instead of leaving it at the bakery.
    • And any other useful tips ÖBe nice! Must admit I told a few porkies about not being able to reduce stuff just because a customer was rude about wanting something reduced. If you find something that's less than perfect (not that you should ) then if you nicely explain that you'd love to buy it but it's broken/split/ there's a bit missing/whatever and could you have a little bit off, then there'll more than likely be an obliging staff member with a reducing gun happy to help
    Originally posted by MSE Martin
    Also agree with Sancho, don't buy instore baked bread that's been sliced because it's more than likely old bread...
    Dealing with my debts!
    Currently overpaying Virgin cc -
    balance Jan 2010 @ 1985.65
    Now @ 703.63
    • LeeUK
    • By LeeUK 4th Apr 07, 10:55 PM
    • 6,110 Posts
    • 2,773 Thanks
    LeeUK
    • #5
    • 4th Apr 07, 10:55 PM
    • #5
    • 4th Apr 07, 10:55 PM
    I used to work for Kwik Save a few years ago (when it was owned by Somerfield). I would reduce the chiller food with the next day's date on at about 1pm ish. But like safesound above, I would use my own discretion depending if I had loads of the same product to reduce. Anything from 30% to 50% off. Anything that was today's date and had not already sold from yesterday's reduction I would mark it down to 10p or something silly like that. No reductions would be done before closing time as I had finished my shift and all the other staff would be playing football in the warehouse.

    I would only reduce stuff that a customer asked me to only if it was after I had done today's reductions. If their attitude stank, or someone I knew who regually poked around looking for stuff to ask me with I wouldn't.
    • mrme
    • By mrme 5th Apr 07, 1:18 AM
    • 1,197 Posts
    • 402 Thanks
    mrme
    • #6
    • 5th Apr 07, 1:18 AM
    • #6
    • 5th Apr 07, 1:18 AM
    Asked a family member who works @ Sainsbury's to answer what he can as I eat my 1 penny hot X buns (always brings me goodies home) I am told it varies greatly from store to store and its often down to luck what bargains you can grab.
    • Which supermarket do you work for/did you work for? Sainsburys
    • What times of day do you reduce prices? Start around lunch time but they get much better @ around 6pm.
    • How big are the discounts? (If the computer does it automatically, do a rough estimate) This depends on the time of day & how many of the items there are. The later in the day & the more of the items the better!
    • What time is the final, final reduction (to 10p-ish)? Hopefully by 8pm all reductions should be completed. They will be at the lowest possible prices and any unsold items are offered to staff for silly money @ closing time so get there before they do! (This will vary from store to store - depends how nice the manager is)
    • Who has the authority to reduce prices? No real way of telling - ask any member of staff & they will know someone who can help. Look out for those with a handset.
    • If a customer asked you to reduce something because itís on itís sell-by date are you allowed to? Depends completely on the person reducing the item. If you do it nicely there shouldn't be a problem! If you see damaged items or split multi-packs its always worth asking. Just don't damage stock yourself & then ask for it to be reduced - yes this does happen and people have been caught.
    • Does it vary if itís a 24-hour store? NA
    • And any other useful tips Ö The most important tip is this - If there a reduced items on a multi-buy you will still get the discount which means some amazing deals. Here is an example
    Hot cross buns are on offer @ 2 packs for £1 and 99% of the time they have stock that needs to be sold each night. They are usually sold at 69p each but are reduced to 20p each. If you were to buy 2 packs you would pay just 2p as you would still get your 38p discount So if you see items reduced that are on a multi-buy promotion stop & work out the real price. THIS WILL NOT WORK ON BOGOFS - ONLY THE 2 for £2.00 TYPE OF DEALS. BOGOF items will simply be BOGOF at the lower price.
    Last edited by Former MSE Lawrence; 12-04-2007 at 12:20 PM.
  • vincenz
    • #7
    • 6th Apr 07, 10:54 AM
    • #7
    • 6th Apr 07, 10:54 AM
    Which supermarket do you work for/did you work for?
    Asda (Bakery Department) (whilst i'm at uni)
    What times of day do you reduce prices? It starts usually about 6ish, that is store policy. With an initial discount on french sticks, donuts, pies, wholemeal/granary items and all packed buns/rolls that have been baked instore.
    How big are the discounts? (If the computer does it automatically, do a rough estimate) At first its about 1/3 this normally gets rid of a few items as people buy them because theyre reduced.
    What time is the final, final reduction (to 10p-ish)? Final is depended upon staffing but usually at 8ish another set of reductions are made, then around 10pm (staff dependent) the remaining is put right down, this is because the night shift begins at 10
    Who has the authority to reduce prices? Colleagues have full input into the texlon (reduction gun), this is an option for the gun to work out the reduction, if scanning an already reduced item it usually halves the price each time
    If a customer asked you to reduce something because itís on itís sell-by date are you allowed to? As above colleagues have full control over the gun and its at their discression
    Does it vary if itís a 24-hour store? No reductions are depended upon staffing, usually the night workers are there to replenish stock rather than to perform jobs such as packing, baking etc
    And any other useful tips Ö
    -I usually give discounts to young females and people who ask nicely and dont prosume they can have a discount just because its asda and they have deep pockets (even though they have)
    -The decisions made on the guns are recorded and can be investigated so colleagues are accountable for big discounts so this may not be the case throughout all asda
    -The majority of markdowns are taken to the front of the store so this is a good place to find things (age old trick)
  • crazy_guy
    • #8
    • 10th Apr 07, 8:21 PM
    • #8
    • 10th Apr 07, 8:21 PM
    [QUOTE=MSE Martin;4798766][FONT=Verdana]

    Please let me know:
    • Which supermarket do you work for/did you work for? Sainsburys Local (the little ones)
    • What times of day do you reduce prices?
      Before reducing the prices it was standard practice to go through all the stock and inputting it into the scanner and then at about 3-4pm i'd collect the goods and reduce them..... but the time would be very dependent on my shift and whether there was any pressing needs so no particular time i'm afraid
    • How big are the discounts? (If the computer does it automatically, do a rough estimate)
      When i worked at sainsburys (left a year ago) the discounts were not automatically assigned and was up to our discretion really. The factors would be the amount of stock needing to be reduced and its likely selling rate.....so if we had a load of a product going out of date shortly.... or a product that doesnt shift, the price gets big discounts, usually on fruit and vegetables and flowers. Initially it would be 1/3 of the price but then after that its up to discretion when the stuff is still sitting there
    • What time is the final, final reduction (to 10p-ish)? About an hour before closing
    • Who has the authority to reduce prices?
      [COLOR="red"]It would only be the person actually reducing the items, i was soley in charge on reducing the items, if anyone asked another collegue they would be sent to me.
    • If a customer asked you to reduce something because itís on itís sell-by date are you allowed to?
      For me i could reduce the items but normal checkout staff would not have the authority so it would be the person reducing the items and the manager
    • Does it vary if itís a 24-hour store? no idea
    • And any other useful tips Ö
    Wait till an hour or so before the closure of the store, everything will be reduced to 10p - as another poster mentioned, be nice! People who were geniunely nice i wacked the price right down (within reason of course)..... if you demand a reduction...forget it. But don't be cheeky, no were not going to reduce something down to 10p at the start of the day, there are checks in place to make sure we are not abusing the system. Oh and remember its only a bargain if you will be using it, great for things like meat for freezing, but many people grabbed some things in quantity which they'd never use.
    Last edited by Former MSE Lawrence; 12-04-2007 at 12:18 PM.
    • Bristolfarmer
    • By Bristolfarmer 10th Apr 07, 8:32 PM
    • 184 Posts
    • 135 Thanks
    Bristolfarmer
    • #9
    • 10th Apr 07, 8:32 PM
    • #9
    • 10th Apr 07, 8:32 PM
    Please let me know:
    • Which supermarket do you work for/did you work for? Tesco Express
    • What times of day do you reduce prices? 25% 1st thing, (7am) 50% 4pm, 75% 7pm ish
    • How big are the discounts? (If the computer does it automatically, do a rough estimate) Most allowed to discount is 75%
    • What time is the final, final reduction (to 10p-ish)? 7pm
    • Who has the authority to reduce prices? Anyone running the shift, a cashier will normally ask for authorisation.
    • If a customer asked you to reduce something because itís on itís sell-by date are you allowed to? Yes, depending what it is, some stores won't reduce sandwiches before lunch for obvious reasons, some only take tiny amounts off meat, but baked goods are heavily reduced.
    • Does it vary if itís a 24-hour store? Nope
    • And any other useful tips Ö
    The indvidual baked items in Express are never reduced, these are destroyed at night, flowers are normally a good buy, last up to 7days from purchase and often left in fixture, same with produce. However check the date on the loose produce by looking at the box it's stored in, to ensure it is that days date.

    [/QUOTE]
    • gingerwizard
    • By gingerwizard 10th Apr 07, 8:37 PM
    • 31 Posts
    • 24 Thanks
    gingerwizard
    i am a store manager for a tesco express,our waste budgets are very tight and as its linked to everyones monthly bonus,the amount we reduce is closely regimented by myself and management team,all items due for reductions are on a report, this report informs you of how many of a particular item is in stock and as an average what number of that item is sold on a daily basis,using this info its decided to what % first reductions at the start of trade will be made if any.So if i have five warbies medium toastie going out of code but will sell twenty five on a day then its highly unlikely any reduction will be made,however if i have a line that i have of ten of but will only sell two of i will most likely reduce to 50% at the start of trade.As for times of the day reductions get done usually its the start of trade,7am, then 4pm which usually marks all reduced to clear lines to 50%, then if stuff is still left its a 75% around 9pm,its up to the shift managers discretion to reduce further but this rarely happens as most of its gone by then.If someone gets a little cheeky and asks for a reduction on a item as its going out of code,i asses wether i will or not by how polite they ask or if they are a regular shopper,if someones rude and expects it then they get a polite refusal and explanation of policy.I know tesco express differs to the way tesco superstores do it in the fact that they reduce everything using the 25%@8am,50%@4pm and 75%@8pm policy,but then again this can differ store to store and dept to dept,just to confuse you all.The only tip i can give you is get in early and if you ask nicely you never know what you might get,just ask nicely!
  • mad panda
    Which supermarket do you work for/did you work for?
    Used to work for Morrisons in Ovenfresh/Pie Shop

    What times of day do you reduce prices?
    It depended on what manager was on, but generally 2 before close or 1 before close.

    How big are the discounts? (If the computer does it automatically, do a rough estimate)
    If it was done by machine it would be upto 25% at first and a manager would then allow you to take more off. Sometimes if we had a lot to get rid of then we would reduce it quite a bit, say a £2.99 chicken to £1.59 or at the very end down to £0.99. Some of the pies went from £1.19 to £0.20. If the manager didn't really care you could reduce it to what you wanted (10p min)

    What time is the final, final reduction (to 10p-ish)?
    Sometimes down to 10p

    Who has the authority to reduce prices?
    Managers gave the go ahead and we reduced it. Usually we knew what time to reduce but others you had to wait to be told (long story associated with this and why I quit).

    If a customer asked you to reduce something because it’s on it’s sell-by date are you allowed to?
    Most of the hot food was to be sold same day so it doesn't really apply

    Does it vary if it’s a 24-hour store?
    No idea if Morrisons even have 24hr stores.

    And any other useful tips …
    Wait an hour before close for reductions and hang about til the end if you really want cheap stuff. If it doesnt get sold then it gets binned and the managers don't like that due to the amount (£££) wasted. You may be able to ask at that time if they can take it down any further and if they are nice I did do it.

    Also another tip regarding the sales floor, always look at food at the back of the shelf, usually the longest dates are put to the back.
  • panavia
    Co op supermarkets.
    First reductions are done the previous night in our store at around 8pm.. this gives 25% off the following days date. The next reduction will be between 3 and 5pm, giving 50% to 75% off. Final reductions around 7pm 8pm, all stock with that date will go to 10p.
    If there is a lot of any one product, the reductions may be greater, due to selling at a lower price, rather than hiking the wastage figures.

    Damaged stock...ie torn packaging, will only go down by 25% in most cases.
    Fresh food with damaged packaging will not be sold.
  • laura1976
    The most important tip is this - If there a reduced items on a multi-buy you will still get the discount which means some amazing deals. Here is an example [/COLOR][/FONT][/LIST]Hot cross buns are on offer @ 2 packs for £1 and 99% of the time they have stock that needs to be sold each night. They are usually sold at 69p each but are reduced to 20p each. If you were to buy 2 packs you would pay just 2p as you would still get your 38p discount So if you see items reduced that are on a multi-buy promotion stop & work out the real price. THIS WILL NOT WORK ON BOGOFS - ONLY THE 2 for £2.00 TYPE OF DEALS. BOGOF items will simply be BOGOF at the lower price.
    Originally posted by mrme
    This is great to look out for! I have a freezer full of expensive pizza express pizzas and stuff because of this, they were on 2 for £4 or something recently but with the reduction and the multibuy I think I was getting 2 for 38p or something stupid, plus staff discount! Only thing I would add is if we or the customer notice at the till something is damaged ie sugar leaking or washing powder box torn we call a supervisor to change it for them. Quite often the supervisor will ask the customer if they would prefer to take the damaged item at half price.......we can just work out half the cost and enter it as a reduction.......after all you put your sugar in a canister anyway and you've probably got a soap powder box you can tip the damaged one into.
  • helping_hubby
    [QUOTE=MSE Martin;4798766]The very best supermarket reductions are on fresh goods that are going out of date, but whatís the best time to grab these bargains?
    • Which supermarket do you work for/did you work for? Tesco (Deli counter and Produce on sundays)
    • What times of day do you reduce prices?
      We used to reduce the end cuts of meat on the deli immediately, these would be at 50% of the price.
      On Sunday reductions started immediately and were only reduced by 10% maybe 20% on less desirable items. Then with an hour to go to close things would be reduced to maybe 50%.
    • How big are the discounts? (If the computer does it automatically, do a rough estimate)
      As above
    • What time is the final, final reduction (to 10p-ish)?
      I used to do this with 15 minutes to go.
    • Who has the authority to reduce prices?
      The person with the reduction printer.
    • If a customer asked you to reduce something because itís on itís sell-by date are you allowed to?
      Um, I really don't know. I'd always get worried I'd get caught out by a mystery shopper or something, so I'm afraid I didn't!
    • Does it vary if itís a 24-hour store?
      n/a
    • And any other useful tips Ö

  • klb
    Watch out for items reduced in Tesco which were on a multibuy. My local Tescos rebarcode the reduced stock so the multi save no longer works. More often than not it is better to pay full price and get the multisave discount.

    However, Sainsburys don't rebarcode their reduced items, so you get some real bargains when the multisaves kick in.
  • Constantine
    * Which supermarket do you work for/did you work for?

    The one that begins with a T

    * What times of day do you reduce prices?

    Potential reductions (for fresh foods) are scanned from around 6pm the night before. The system calculates the times that reductions are required - May be reduced then, held for 10am or 5pm. Times are store specific but are generally around those times. Anything not sold at 30% is generally reduced again at 5pm. Further reductions as required from 6pm onwards.

    * How big are the discounts? (If the computer does it automatically, do a rough estimate)

    Again can be set by store, reduction values are generally 30% then 50%. Can be over ridden at Managers discretion to whatever is required.

    I don't normally do fresh cakes at more than 15%...seems as soon as you slap a yellow label on, they are no longer bad for you and fly out

    * What time is the final, final reduction (to 10p-ish)?

    Depends on volume and store specifics. Hour before close as general rule of thumb.

    * Who has the authority to reduce prices?

    Reduction person largely, Duty or Department Manager for special circumstances.

    * If a customer asked you to reduce something because itís on itís sell-by date are you allowed to?

    If they had some manners.

    * Does it vary if itís a 24-hour store?

    Yes.

    * And any other useful tips Ö

    Try not to be an idiot, it always helps. Reducing stuff is time consuming and important its done accurately, constantly pestering the person for another 10p off your chicken sandwich ain't gonna make you any friends. If you plan to be a Reductions Regular (every store needs them, they solve what is otherwise a problem ), it would help you enormously if the people you want to look after you don't all cringe when they see you...

    Oh...and never, ever fight with an other customer over the last pack of chicken legs - It is not big, not clever, pretty undignified and to be fair, the Police laugh at you once they have managed to split you up :rolleyes:
    Last edited by Constantine; 11-04-2007 at 4:11 AM.
    Who or what was I before you came in to my life
    I am not sure
  • ashfan83
    I worked in Tesco on the checkouts and it was a 24 hour store. At about 9pm the 10p bakery items would start to come through the checkouts, so I'm guessing they reduced them at around 8.30pm.

    Damaged stock can get reduced any time of day, like the stuff you see on the reduced shelves - dented tins etc.
  • alecc
    I used to work in a Sainsbury's store up until recently, and the best time to get reduced food would be about 20:30/21:00. This was because if things were going to be out of date at the end of the trading day then they just check chucked away, and the majority of this food isn't sold by 21:30 (which was the busiest time in my store) then it would just get reduced loads. I often walked out with at least 8 cakes and 3 loaves of bread for 50p/£1.00.

    Find out what time it's busiest at your supermarket and go about an hour after, or 2 hours before it shuts. I used to judge busy by the amount of people in qeues at the checkouts.
  • alecc
    Oh yes!!!! forgot, if look for things to buy that are buy one get one free, then the shop will owe you money. haha

    many a time i had to give people money because the way the till works is for example:

    1pizza - 99p + 1pizza 99p
    (and then it goes -99p because it's buy one get one free)

    so if it's reduced:

    1pizza - 20p + 1pizza 20p
    ( and then -99p because the offer is built into the item code, so it still thinks it needs to take off 99p to make it a buy one get one free offer)

    I'm sorry if that doesn't make sense, but it's true about giving away money, my manager said that we had to because it was our mistake not the customers.

    SO LOOK FOR BUY ONE GET ONE FREES IN THE REDUCED SECTION PEOPLE!!
  • full-time-mum
    I don't work anywhere but the very nice lady in Morrisions reduced some pots of daffodils when I asked - they were yellowish and had obviously been deprived of light. She reduced to 20p - I think they were originally nearer 75p - £1. They've greened up nicely now that I've given them some sunshine and a bit of TLC.

    So my tip, is if you know your stuff, don't be afraid to point out the problem and ask politely.

    Also, beware as quite often Tesco pile stuff onto the reduction area but they AREN'T reduced until they have the yellow price/barcode on them. The cynic in me says they are being sneaky. I don't think you get the buy 2 for £2 style discounts anymore on reduced items
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