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Sainsbury’s ditches multi-buy promotions to push lower regular prices

Multi-buy promotions will soon be no more at Sainsbury’s stores following its decision to give them the boot by the summer in favour of pushing lower regular prices.  

The “vast majority” of the much-maligned promotions will be axed by August 2016 claimed the retailer, ending a process it started last year. Since last March, it has culled more than 50 per cent of multi-buy promotions from its shelves.

Sainsbury's cull will span the entire breadth of its branded and own-brand soft drinks, confectionery, biscuits and crisps, a move it is keen to stress reinforces its commitment to “make healthier choices simpler and easier for customers”. However, there will reportedly be a few exceptions, where the promotions are used seasonally throughout the year.

Multi-buy promotions are out of step with how people shop today, found the retailer’s research, which chimes with a separate study today (11 Febraury) that claimed that the promotions iare used to seduce shoppers to spend more a year than what they had planned.

"Careful management of household budgets, a growing awareness of the cost of food waste and more health-conscious living has driven a trend away from multiple product purchasing towards more single item purchasing,” said Sainsbury's marketing director, Sarah Warby.

“We have listened to our customers who have told us that multi-buy promotions don’t meet their shopping needs today, are often confusing and create logistical challenges at home in terms of storage and waste. The commitment we are announcing today will make it easier for customers to shop for the products they love, when and how they choose, safe in the knowledge that they are getting the best value for money all of the time.”

The move is just another in a long line of ways Sainsbury’s is trying to get more people through its doors regularly as it looks to build on the market shares gain it won in the run up to Christmas. With people buying less but more frequently there’s a bigger focus from the sector to create an in-store service that’s more convenient whether that’s through a more streamlines product range or less confusing promotions that don’t benefit the shopper.

Sainsbury’s announcement comes as supermarkets face a ban on special offers that cost shoppers an extra £1,000 per year. Many stores including Sainsbury’s Waitrose, Tesco and Asda are being investigated by the Compeition and Markets Authority over the promotions they run, according to The Telegraph. There’s growing concern that shoppers are being misled by such deal, which are in fact getting people to pay more for goods when they are marketed as saving them money. 

Featured by The Drum