Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Pressure on household budgets will only intensify, warns Sainsbury’s boss

Sainsbury’s chief executive Simon Roberts has said the grocery chain will continue to pump funds into offsetting rising costs over the rest of the year (PA)
Sainsbury’s chief executive Simon Roberts has said the grocery chain will continue to pump funds into offsetting rising costs over the rest of the year (PA)

The boss of Sainsbury’s has warned that pressure on household budgets “will only intensify over the remainder of the year” as he pledged to invest more money to improve value for shoppers.

Simon Roberts, chief executive of the supermarket group, said it is working to reduce costs across its operations amid continued inflation.

“We really understand how hard it is for millions of households right now and that’s why we are investing £500 million and doing everything we can to keep our prices low, especially on the products customers buy most often,” he said.

“The pressure on household budgets will only intensify over the remainder of the year and I am very clear that doing the right thing for our customers and colleagues will remain at the very top of our agenda.”

Cost of living crisis
Sainsbury’s chief executive Simon Roberts (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The chief executive, who took the top role in 2020, said more customers are switching to own-brand products in response to cost-of-living pressures.

“We have seen an increase in economy own-label lines, with strong rises for products like meat which we have matched against Aldi prices,” he said.

Mr Roberts added that the group’s general merchandise arms have seen sales of some “big ticket” items, such as furniture and technology, weighed down in recent months.

It came as the retail giant revealed that like-for-like sales, excluding fuel, declined by 4% over the 16 weeks to June 25, compared with the same period last year.

Sainsbury’s hailed a “good” performance in its grocery business, which saw sales dip 2.4% against levels from last year, which had benefited from pandemic restrictions on other parts of the retail sector.

The retailer said its “improved value position” has helped its performance against competitors, with the group investing heavily into improving prices, such as through its Sainsbury’s Quality, Aldi Price Match campaign.

Sales were also particularly strong around the Jubilee week, the company said, with sales of beers, wines and spirits at “the highest ever outside of Christmas and Easter, with Pimm’s, sparkling wine and champagne selling particularly well”.

The total sales decline was dragged lower by significant slumps in the group’s clothing and general merchandise divisions, which includes its Argos brand.

Argos sales fell by 10.5% over the period, which it said was driven by a heavy slump over the first five weeks.

The group also revealed that fuel sales jumped 48.3% over the period, driven by jumps in the price of both petrol and diesel.

Mr Roberts added: “We’re working hard to reduce costs right across the business so that we can keep investing in these areas that customers care most about.

“The progress we are making on improving value, quality, innovation and service is reflected in our improved grocery volume market share.”

Shares in Sainsbury’s were 0.6% higher at 209.7p in early trading.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]