Sainsbury's

Sainsbury's says ending multi-buy promotions is helping it attract more customers

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By Jennifer Faull, Deputy Editor

March 15, 2016 | 3 min read

Sainsbury’s has claimed that ending the use of multi-buy promotions, like buy-one-get-one-free deals, is helping it attract more customers as it posted its first quarterly sales growth in more than two years today (15 March).

The grocer announced earlier this year that it would opt to push lower regular prices rather than one of discounts and vowed that by August 2016 it would no longer use the tactic to shift goods in-store.

As it stands, the proportion of products on promotion was 28 per cent over the retailer’s most recent quarter.

Chief executive Mike Coupe said: “Customers have told us that multi-buy promotions do not meet their shopping needs today. They are often viewed as confusing, create storage challenges and unnecessary waste.

“We’ve reduced number of promotions which is reflected in the fact we’re attracting more customers and selling more volume.”

Overall, sales rose 0.1 per cent in the nine weeks to 12 March, up from a 0.4 per cent fall in sales it posted the previous quarter.

A major driver of the positive figures came from online, where sales were up nearly 14 per cent. Commenting on the recent tie-up between Morrisons and Amazon, Coupe said it does not pose a threat, describing it simply as “interesting” and a “reflection of the changing market.”

"I wouldn’t envisage [Sainsbury’s] getting into that sort of deal,” he said. “We’re doing a pretty good job [online] for customers so I see no reason why we would change that underlying strategy.”

Little was said on the much anticipated Argos deal, with the Coupe repeatedly batting away questions on its revised £1.3bn bid to buy the retail chain.

Sainsbury’s and South African group Steinhoff International both have a deadlines of Friday 18 to make a firm bid.

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