Cost-cutters continue to battle

Sainsbury’s is to extend its cost-cutting campaign to try to win back market share.

The chain will push its February Savers campaign of 200 reduced items into next month and possibly April. The name of the promotion will change to Spring Savers.

The supermarket said it was extending the campaign, which began at the start of the year, because it had been “extremely successful”.

To illustrate the success of the campaign, a Sainsbury’s spokesman said that it had sold a year’s supply of its own-brand Chicken Tikka in two weeks. The item had been cut from 2.79 to 1.39.

But industry sources are unsure whether this move will be enough to win back pre-eminence in the sector. The increase in sales is understood to be between eight and nine per cent.

One source said: “These figures are prominent but not wildly brilliant. Sainsbury’s is playing catch-up with Tesco at the moment, but nobody knows whether this will be enough to get close to it.”

Sainsbury’s adds: “The market is very competitive and our research tells us that custom-ers say price is the main thing influencing who they shop with.”

Nielsen figures show that Tesco has a 20 per cent share of the UK market, while Sainsbury’s trails with 18 per cent. Asda, then Safeway, follow behind.

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