Mark Jones quoted by the BBC on the decline in sales at Sainsbury’s

Thursday 4th July 2019

Partner Mark Jones has been quoted by the BBC again, this time reacting to the news of a further decline in sales at Sainsbury’s.

On Wednesday, the latest quarterly trading statement from Sainsbury’s confirmed that total sales were down 1.2 per cent excluding fuel for the 16 weeks to 29 June. Like for like sales were down 1.6 per cent for the same period, despite cutting prices on more than 1,000 everyday food and grocery products since February.

In a statement which was quoted on the BBC’s Live Business Page, Mark Jones said:

“Mike Coupe isn’t ‘in the money’ anymore. All of a sudden, Sainsbury’s looks like it is the struggling member of the Big Four. As recently as April, Tesco announced a near-30 per cent jump in full-year profits and 11 per cent sales growth; Morrisons has been on the rise for a while with its move into wholesale with McColls and Amazon and then striking a deal with Amazon to sell own brand products on Prime. Both moves are great ways of increasing sales without capital expenditure.

“And then there is Asda – even if it looks as if Walmart has had enough of the UK market, it has stolen the charge on Sainsbury’s and gone about its business quietly. Online grew 10 per cent in the last quarter and if you include Easter, sales also grew 0.5 per cent.

“Without the Asda deal, Sainsbury’s sits in an odd place in the market and I suspect the board are wondering what the next move should be. Asda is the cheapest of the Big Four, Tesco buys at the lowest prices because of its scale and reaches the most people, and Morrisons is the second biggest food manufacturer in the country. They all have a USP. The USP of Sainsbury’s used to be quality but with Ocado growing, potentially merging with M&S, and Waitrose’s reputation, the prize for quality probably does not sit with Sainsbury’s anymore.

“The Sainsbury’s board will need to give some further thought to why consumers should shop with them. Whatever that reason is, it should not be price because that is a fight it cannot win against Asda, let alone Aldi or Lidl.”