Sainsbury’s stays neutral in supermarket price war

City A.M. Reporter
J SAINSBURY says it will not join the wave of discounting sweeping the retail sector, believing shoppers will splash out on Christmas despite a gloomy economic backdrop.

Commercial director Mike Coupe made the vow as Britain’s third-biggest supermarket group unveiled its biggest ever Christmas range, including around 500 groceries and 700 non-food items.

“The evidence would suggest that when there is a family occasion, when there’s a moment in time that people are bought into, whether that’s the royal wedding, whether it’s Halloween or whether it’s Bonfire Night, they will spend and they will invest in a great family occasion,” he said on a store tour in north east London.

Many retailers are struggling as shoppers’ disposable incomes are squeezed.

Several chains including major rival Tesco are cutting prices in a bid to lure shoppers, but Coupe said: “You’re far better holding your nerve and sticking to what you have planned.”

He added that a trend towards last-minute spending was likely to be exacerbated this year due to Christmas falling on a Sunday.