Sainsbury's 'gives poor value'

New Research shows that Sainsbury's is failing to provide customers with good value, despite repeated claims to be trying to woo them back on promises of lower prices, writes Richard Phillips.

The latest edition of FT Food Business, a monthly industry newsletter, publishes a survey by market research consultancy Taylor Nelson AGB that shows Sainsbury's to be one of the most expensive supermarkets.

In a survey of prices for common items at the four main supermarkets, Sainsbury's came out worst on price in nearly every case since November. Only Safeway was slightly more expensive in February, December and November.

Taylor Nelson AGB measured prices against an index for Tesco, Safeway, Asda and Sainsbury's. On its measure, Sainsbury's was competitive only in June, July and October.

When Tesco launched its Unbeatable Value in the autumn last year, Sainsbury followed suit with its Unbeatable Autumn Value on 700 lines. But it was quickly withdrawn, to be replaced by its extra points promotion for Reward card holders.

When Tesco launched Unbeatable Value, its prices dropped by 2 per cent. Its market share has risen to an all-time high of 22 per cent.