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Asda sets out to teach WH Smith a maths lesson on back-to-school stationery prices

Price comparison on a basket of 20 stationery products shows that Asda is less than half the price of WH Smith

“WH Smith stationery prices are too stationary – they’re a rip-off and need to come down,” Asda says

Asda today launches an attack on the outrageous prices charged by WH Smith for back to school stationery essentials, including calculators, pens, pencils, flexible rulers, ringbinders, notebooks and pads.

A price comparison carried out this week by Asda reveals that on a basket of 20 like-for-like products, Asda came in more than 50% cheaper than WH Smith.

Looking at the most basic stationery item, the plain pencil with an eraser at the end, Asda are offering a 24-pack for £1 and WH Smith are offering a 9-pack for £1.41 – in other words less than half the amount for a 40% higher price – or three times the price pro-rata.

On pens, Asda offers a ten-pack of retractable ball point pens for 50p. WH Smith offer a 15-pack for £1.99. Pro-rata, a ten-pack of pens from W H Smith would be £1.33, more than two and half times the Asda price.

David Walker, stationery expert at Asda, said: "If the cost of buying a basket of essentials from the UK’s most famous stationers is double the price you’d pay at Asda, it’s very important that shoppers know that.

“It’s easy to spend upwards of £30 on back to school stationery even at Asda prices. The idea that it would cost you more than £60 for the same at WH Smith just makes no sense at all. You could pick up three complete school uniforms at Asda on the savings made!”

A 50p flexible ruler at Asda costs £2.19 at WH Smith. A 100-sheet A4 notebook costs £1.37 at Asda and a 120-sheet version costs £2.99 at WH Smith. Ten-packs of dividers are 45p at Asda. 20-packs of dividers costs an astonishing £2.49 at WH Smith.

Asda v WH Smith

It all adds up: A 24-pack of pencils with eraser on the end costs £1, making each pencil 4.2p, compared with 15.7p at WH Smith with its nine-pack for £1.41. Asda’s 10-pack of retractable ballpoint pens for 50p works out at 5p a pen; WH Smith’s 15-pack at £1.99 is 13p per pen.

Posted in Press Centre on 18 August 2011