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Sainsburys – what went wrong?

Sainsburys share price and forecast  - FT

Sainsburys share price and forecast – FT

Following my recent straw poll that revealed NEXT as the fashion retailer to watch over the next 12 months, I conducted a similar poll on the subject of supermarket chains.

Although there was no clear winner from the group of 25 people that were questioned, there was one clear looser.

SAINSBURYS, a long time stalwart of the UK food retail sector seem to be failing in every section of their business. (At the time of writing their share price for the year is down 13.57%)

Whether it’s online or in store not one of the people surveyed placed Sainsburys at the top of their list, and it seems the people who do shop there would prefer to go elsewhere but have no choice as the nearest competitor is too far away.

One gripe that came up time and time again was the baffling and often completely illogical way the stores are laid out. Whilst it’s great to be different and stand out from the competition, shoppers also expect certain things to be consistent no matter which store or brand they shop with. One can only conclude that Sainsburys have conspired to ‘trap’ shoppers in such a maze, they become so hungry and tired that when they do find a route to the checkouts they pick anything that comes to hand just to make the whole experience worthwhile!

In contrast you can go to any Tesco or Asda store in the country and instinctively know where to find the butter, bread and even the little used white wine vinegar. And these companies manage to achieve this even in their mammoth stores which feel as if they could swallow a whole town.

One particular section of the Sainsburys offering that seems to fair particularly poorly, is their fashion offering TU. From my own personal experience I found my last visit to these aisles to be particularly uninspiring. Yes, I was wasting time whilst I had my windscreen repaired in the car park outside, but these are usually the times when I make my most impulsive purchases. On this visit however all I saw was a collection of overpriced denim, shapeless t-shirts and old man’s sandals. The kid’s aisle didn’t fare any better either – which is disappointing as just a couple of years ago my wife and I seemed to spend a small fortune in there before the birth of our son. Where were the funky chinos and cool polo shirts that you can find in any other retail department that proclaims to be on-trend?

The overall message from my survey and my own personal opinion is… ” come on Sainsburys, we know you can do better, and we actually want you to do better. You provide us with choice in a market dominated by Tesco and Asda. And you offer us quality at not unreasonable prices compared to the more money than sense Waitrose or M&S food products.”

The Sainsburys store layout

The Sainsburys store layout

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