Sainsbury’s sharpens pricing focus following first full-year loss in a decade

The UK marketplace is changing faster than at any time in the past 30 years says Sainsbury’s chief executive, Mike Coupe, commenting after reporting the retail chain’s first full-year loss for 10 years.

With a pre-tax loss of £72 million for the year to March 14, 2015, and underlying group sales down 0.9% to £26.1bn, Mr Coupe acknowledged that marketplace changes had “impacted our profits, like-for-like sales and market share”.

He maintained, however, that the business was still making good progress, adding: “Our strategy and our investment in price and quality is showing encouraging early signs of volume and transaction growth.

“We know that our customers still want the best quality food at great prices and our strategy is built on our strong foundations of selling great food with a focus on quality, provenance and sustainability.”

He also sounded a strong price note for suppliers, however, in stating: “We know that our customers want value for money and we have therefore invested in lowering our prices; our prices versus our competitors have never been better.”

Sainsbury’s, who have a 100% British fresh pork rating under the BPEX porkwatch programme, also indicated that their current trading battleground is very much focused on their food business, commenting that while competition for food sales remained fierce, its non-food business was doing well.

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