Mike Coupe, group commercial director at Sainsbury’s, picked the 2011 IGD Convention to announce the launch of the retailer’s 20:20 sustainability plan. It comprises 20 commitments in sustainable and healthy products including:
- To achieve £1bn in Fairtrade sales by 2020
- To reduce carbon by 30%
- To double sales of British food
The plan launched in tandem with Sainsbury’s Brand Match promotion, which compares prices at its checkouts with those of Tesco and Asda in real time. According to Coupe, Sainsbury’s will work out if its products are cheaper than its rivals and, when it is not, will refund the difference in the form of a coupon. Coupe claimed for half of all its customers, its branded shopping baskets are at the same price or cheaper than Tesco or Asda.
The message is supported in a new TV advertising campaign, which promotes Sainsbury’s new Live Well for Less strapline.
Coupe explored the key technological advances at the Convention including pricing technology, the advent of dynamic pricing and growth in price comparison websites; plus online sales. In categories such as electricals, a quarter of all products are sold online and stores are becoming showrooms, said Coupe.
Coupe highlighted online growth. In 1999 only two online retailers were bricks and mortar, the rest were pure plays, he said. Today, seven out of 10 are bricks and mortar retailers and “the trust in an established brand is a big factor” in their growth, he said.
Coupe presented Sainsbury’s range – 30,000 skus including own label across good, better, best categories.
Coupe said that in Basics, Sainsbury’s has the second best selling value range.
The premium Taste the Difference own label is worth £1bn in sales, he said; while the recently relaunched core own label offer comprises 7,500 lines and accounts for a third of sales.
Own label also extends to non-food including the retailer’s new Gok for Tu clothing range.
Sainsbury’s combination of Brand Match and own labels was compelling, claimed Coupe. “In a world where pricing is increasingly transparent, why would you shop anywhere else?” he said.