Sainsbury wins shoppers over with coupons

Kasmira Jefford
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J SAINSBURY boss Justin King said the supermarket’s Nectar data and coupon-at-till scheme would give it the edge over rivals ahead of another competitive christmas, as it reported a rise in half-year profit.

Britain’s third largest supermarket beat forecasts with a five per cent rise in first-half profit to £373m, driven by convenience store growth and a 20 per cent uplift in online sales.

Like-for-like sales rose 1.7 per cent and total sales were up 4.1 per cent, thanks to its Brand Match campaign and Nectar card data that allows it to print targeted coupons, helping to lure shoppers under pressure from higher living cost.

The supermarket’s performance puts pressure on rivals Morrisons’, which reported a 2.1 per cent drop in like-for-like sales last week and Tesco, which is attempting to turn around its UK business after a profit warning earlier this year.

The latest industry data shows Sainsbury’s marketshare now at 16.7 per cent of the grocery market, its highest in almost 10 years.

Commenting on next month’s Autumn Statement, King reiterated he would like to see the government “reduce the barriers to employment”.

“It is up to the government to decide the best way to achieve it, but one option could be a national insurance holiday on new jobs for 12 months,” he said.

Last month, King criticised chancellor George Osborne’s plan to allow employees to swap workplace rights for shares in their firms.