Sainsbury’s sees first growth in two years
15 March 2016
The executives at Sainsbury’s HQ may be breathing a sigh of relief this week. The retailer has revealed its first growth in more than two years, and small as it may be (0.1% in the 9 weeks to 1st March, including online sales), it’s a further sign that the UK sector is in good health and expansion may well be on the cards.
The growth is stronger than what analysts forecast for Sainsbury’s, given its 0.4% slide delivered in the 15 weeks to 9th January. Chief executive Mike Coupe said it was down to the simple fact that customers were selecting more items to put in their baskets, and an increase in till transactions.
“We have traded well this year and are making excellent progress implementing our strategy. The market will remain competitive but we are confident that we will continue to outperform our major peers,” he said.
Hannah Maundrell, editor-in-chief at money.co.uk called Sainsbury’s growth a sign that supermarkets are “finally learning that we don’t want the wool pulled over our eyes when we shop.
“I’m pleased Sainsbury’s is attributing its positive results in part to a conscious shift away from purchases that get us stocking up on goods we don’t really want,” she said. “Loweing pricing on everyday goods is far easier to get your head around.”
Maundrell said that Sainsburys’ “slick online delivery service” was also a help to the company, but added that perfecting their online offering is essential before the market heats up further. “Home delivery is where Sainsbury’s has a clear opportunity to win back custom from the bargain end of the supermarket spectrum,” she said. “Good quality produce with clear pricing supported by decent customer service is what will reel shoppers back in.”