Consumers are exploiting predictable reduced-to-clear policies in stores that reduce the price of items at similar times each day.
An updated grocery guide by MoneySavingExpert details the standard times when multiples price down goods approaching their sell-by dates, and the savings shoppers have achieved by waiting until these times.
Convenience retailers are also affected by the trend. One retailer told Retail Express: “I had a customer come in and ask where the 75%-off braising steak was. When I asked her what she meant, she said she came in every day at half seven to purchase it.
"The first thing I did when I got to the back office is reduce my order and change the times I reduce my items.”
As well as reducing order volumes and changing when fresh and chilled products are marked down, retailers are also rebranding reduced to clear as an offer for the customer rather than an attempt to move slow lines.
South Lanarkshire retailer Mo Razzaq told Retail Express: "If we reduce slow-selling wine to £3.99, our label says its great value, not that it's a reduced-to-clear line."
According to the guide, Asda is reported to price down items at 7pm, Co-op takes 50% off at 5pm and 75% off at 8pm, M&S Food begins pricing down lines 'just after lunch', Morrisons reduces to clear in the morning or lunch time, Sainsbury’s makes major reductions around 7pm and Tesco stores can begin reductions as early as 8am.
Customers reported to MoneySavingExpert that they had purchased £60-worth of goods for as little as £2.55 by waiting for closing time.