// Sainsbury’s CEO Simon Roberts has pledged to invest £550m in keeping prices low
// The move is part of Roberts’ strategy to ‘take on Aldi’ as shoppers look to cut costs
Sainsbury’s CEO Simon Roberts has pledged to invest £550m in keeping prices low over the next two years as the supermarket battles with losing trade to discounters amid the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.
Speaking to the Mail on Sunday, Roberts revealed that Sainsbury’s is going to “invest £550m over two years in being more competitive”, as part of its strategy to “take on Aldi”.
Of this, more than £15 million has been set aside specifically go towards fighting rising costs – with food price inflation at a record-breaking 16.4% last month – and keeping prices low during the 2022 festive period.
“It is really tough. Customers are watching every penny, every pound,” said Roberts, who is prepared to see profits drop in the short-term in order to make sure Sainsbury’s remains competitive in the market.
Subscribe to Retail Gazette for free
Sign up here to get the latest news straight into your inbox each morning
A key part of this focus on pricing has been the popular Aldi price match campaign, which was introduced earlier in the year and has now been rolled out across hundreds of everyday items and customer favourites.
“On a lot of products that people buy every week, we are price matching to Aldi,” he said. “So they are getting Sainsbury’s quality and an Aldi price.”
Much has been made of the consumer migration to the cheaper German grocers over the past year, with Aldi taking £170m of sales from the former ‘Big 4’ this summer, before finally overtaking Morrisons to become the UK’s fourth-largest supermarket.
While recognising the threat posed by Aldi and Lidl – he says there is “zero room for complacency” – Roberts argues that while cost-of-living remains top of the agenda for now, shoppers don’t only care about the cost.
“We are seeing more customers coming back to us from the discounters,” he said, pointing out that the limited range offered by the discounters can’t match that of a typical Sainsbury’s store, which offers over 30,000 food products.
“Do you want to go to lots of places for what you need or one place? Time is precious, not just money.”