Photo courtesy of Sainsbury's

Sainsbury’s trying to keep costs low for consumers as inflation creeps up

Produce Business report

Supermarket chain Sainsbury’s said it is committed to keeping costs down for struggling consumers and will complete a total investment toward that end of £500m through March of 2023.

The retailer says it will keep a range of everyday staple items affordable for shoppers – including fruits and vegetables – by maintaining initiatives such as Price Lock, which guarantees the same price points on 1,800 essentials for eight weeks, and its Aldi Price Match. Several other chains have scrambled, too, to remain competitive on price with deep discounters, including Lidl.

“The cost of living is having a huge impact on our customers’ and colleagues’ lives and we understand that, right now, every penny counts,” Simon Roberts, Chief Executive Officer at Sainsbury’s said. “We are determined to stand side by side with our customers and we are relentlessly focused on driving savings that can be reinvested into keeping food prices low. Customers can be reassured that when they shop at Sainsbury’s they are getting fantastic value and quality, which means they do not need to go anywhere else to get low prices.”

Sainsbury’s says that its strategies are working on several key fronts – with consumers, as officials note they are “keeping inflation lower than its major peers”; with its 189,000 colleagues, who are all receiving a living wage, the first major supermarket in the UK to do so; and with its own bottom line, as its market share remains solid in a jammed sector.

Only Tesco has a higher market share at 27.4% than Sainsbury’s (15%), which has outpaced ASDA (14.1%), Morrisons (9.5%) and the two discounters Aldi (8.8%) and Lidl (6.6%). However, the latter two have been slowly gaining ground since 2017 and are continually opening new stores to try further increase their reach.

In April, Sainsbury’s announced it was lowering price on 150 of its fresh products to help consumers. Still, there are concerns on the horizon that were raised by Sainsbury’s officials just weeks ago, who said this: “The year ahead will be impacted by significant external pressures and uncertainties, including higher operating cost inflation and cost of living pressures impacting customers’ disposable incomes.”

The retailer, in fact, downgraded its projections of underlying profits before tax to be in the range of £630 million to £690 million. That is far below the £730 million it brought in during FY 2021/22. Still, it said that is “significantly ahead of the £586 million reported in FY 2019/20.”



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