Goodbye Brand Match

It’s amazing to think that it’s coming up on two years since we talked about the Sainsbury’s Brand Match voucher scheme, which helped customers to be sure that they weren’t being charged too much on branded goods compared to rival supermarkets. This month, we learned that the supermarket chain has decided to retire the initiative, to allow them to focus on simply providing better prices and promotions for their customers. They’ve also chosen to end the practice of multi buys, such as the buy one get one free style of promotions.

Perhaps Sainsburys are sensing an opportunity to move, with giant rivals Tesco seeming to be on the ropes after sufferring a tough couple of years. Of course, the news has told us that none of the big four are finding things easy – both Morrisons and Asda have also spoken of tough times, or challenging climates as they prefer to describe them.

The next moves of Sainsburys will no doubt be watched closely by analysts, many of whom are expecting further diversity away from their core grocery business. Perhaps a little deeper exploration into selling home technology will form part of their plans, as they’ve done relatively well in the home entertainment market, so a move into other areas of garden too may follow. For example, there’s a lot of growing interest in gadgets that can save homeowners a lot of time and effort in their chores, so emerging products like robotic lawn mowers may be an attractive move, as they’d be the first major chain to offer them, particularly in store. If you’ve not seen these amazing devices, check out a Flymo 1200R review which is the best seller for e-giants Amazon. This is a great example of meeting customer need, as Sainsburys tend to attract more affluent customers than the rest of the ‘big four’, who will be more likely to have larger gardens, and be able to afford the price tag, which is significantly more than a standard mower.

Getting more money in the tills is what is challenging the bosses of the supermarket chains, so these high ticket items may well be… well… just the ticket! They’re able to provide good profitability, and although the boxes are fairly large for the stores to handle, the profit in each unit sold is significantly greater than that of items like LCD TVs which are a very competitive range, as people are very price focused. With newer technology, people are limited in where they can buy, especially if they want to see the product with their own eyes before they buy.

Interesting times lay ahead, so we’re keen to see the next moves in the giant retailer strategies.