Sainsbury's fires up fuel promotion as grocers battle sluggish sales

Sainsbury's will launch a new price promotion on petrol from Wednesday, in the latest initiative by the supermarkets to combat one of toughest trading environments in living memory.

The UK's third-largest grocer will offer customers 10p off a litre of petrol when they spend £60 in store from tomorrow until Sunday 9 October.

Mike Coupe, the group commercial director at Sainsbury's, said: "Household budgets are stretched at the moment and there is no doubt that high fuel bills are playing a part in this."

Sainsbury's on Wednesday is expected to post like-for-like sales, excluding fuel and VAT, of just 0.7 per cent growth for the 16 weeks to 1 October, according to consensus City forecasts.

On the same day, Tesco is forecast to deliver UK underlying sales, excluding fuel and VAT, lower by as much as 2 per cent over the 13 weeks to 27 August. However, the group's profits are set to grow by at least 7 per cent to £1.81bn over the half year.