Sainsbury’s is investing more than £500 million into lowering prices of essential household products as part of a long-term plan, focused on value.
Sainsbury’s chief executive Simon Roberts has said the grocery chain ” determined to stand side by side” with its customers and will continue to offset rising costs until March 2023 as shoppers continue to become “increasingly concerned” about their finances.
“The cost of living is having a huge impact on our customers’ and colleagues’ lives and we understand that, right now, every penny counts,” said Roberts.
“We are with our customers and we are relentlessly focused on driving savings that can be reinvested into keeping food prices low.”
The pricing strategy includes Sainsbury’s Price Lock campaign, which commits to holding the price of more than 1,800 items for at least eight weeks. It will also continue to run Aldi Price Match on a number of products in a bid to compete with the discounter as it continues to steal market share amid the cost-of-living crisis.
Roberts said the supermarket has had to pass on some increases in the price of essential products, such as milk, but highlighted that Sainsbury’s investment means these rises will be smaller than other supermarkets.
“We have a really important relationship with our suppliers and will work with them when the cost of food production is going up and impacting upon farmers,” he said.
“Increases in price are at the front of customers’ minds because they are everywhere, so we are ensuring we limit those and, when we have to make increases, offer better value than the rest of the market.
“Customers are making choices about where they spend money based on their household finances right now so we have to make it easy for them to manage their budget in our shops.
“They are increasingly concerned about their spending and we want them to know we recognise that and are doing everything we can.”
The pricing initiative comes amid a surge in inflation, with the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealing that food inflation grew by 6.8% last month, on the back of sharp increases for meat and dairy products.
Mr Roberts remains optimistic that customers will splash out for the jubilee weekend.
He said: “People are still looking for occasions to celebrate despite the backdrop so we are hopeful that we will see plenty of these over the summer, plenty of big BBQs if the weather is good.”