Supermarket chain Somerfield is reportedly offering its managers £5,000 if they succeed in closing down rival Co-op stores.
Somerfield has also put up £500 bonuses to all staff if they entice Co-op employees to work at its shops, according to an internal briefing document.
The document tells managers: “Analysis shows Somerfield underperforming [in comparsion with] the Co-op in range, cleanliness, store layout and checkout queues.”
Ipswich and Norwich Co-op boss, Richard Samson, told news website NamNews: “It”s disappointing a competitor would stoop to this. It smacks of desperation.”
Somerfield admitted the document was genuine. Spokesman Pete Williams told NamNews: “Food retail is extremely competitive. The Co-op has increasingly been targeting Somerfield customers. In response, Somerfield has energised its managers in stores in direct competition with the Co-op.”