Welcome to this new column, highlighting interesting supermarket news from the week.
Sainsbury’s launches mobile shopping app
The ways people are able to interact with supermarkets increased this week, with news that Sainsbury’s has launched a new mobile shopping app, providing people with a mobile version of its online site.
People will be able to use the app to access all 20,000 Sainsbury’s products, and place a non-food order on their smartphones for delivery next day, or choose to collect from any of its 870 stores.
Customers will also be able to choose to receive personalised offers and collect nectar points whilst they shop.
This news coincides with research from Nielsen that looks at how people use their smartphones in different stores. As I report elsewhere , in-store smartphone use provide interesting opportunities for supermarkets.
Daily Mail’s Spring Clean for the Queen
More than 2,800 volunteers from Tesco signed up over just two days this week take to the streets in the coming weeks to clean up their local communities before the Queen’s Jubilee.
It comes on the back of news that last weekend 100 UK beaches and canals were cleaned up by 6,000 M&S staff.
Both are examples of how big retailers including supermarkets are taking shoppers’ demands that they deliver to local community needs seriously.
M&S revises growth target; launches new value range
Just 18 months ago M&S CEO Marc Bolland claimed that sales at its stores would increase by £3 billion within three years. Fast forward, M&S is expected next week to reveal a sales increase of just £200m as a consequence of depressed consumer spending.
This news means that the retailer will have to quadruple its annual growth rate for the next two years to reach Bolland’s £3bn aim. But given Bank of England’s downward revised economic growth figures, higher inflation forecasts and continued declining real income, this looks unlikely.
On a more positive note, M&S launched a major marketing campaign last weekend for its new value range of 800 products called Simply M&S. Using the strap line ‘M&S quality – now at prices you’ll love’, the retailer said the range offers customers greater choice at lower prices, with “no compromise” on quality or sourcing standards. Products will appear in transparent packaging intended to draw attention to their quality, M&S has also said.
ASDA total sales rise in Q1
ASDA has revealed a sales growth of 7.1% per cent during its first quarter of this year. Like for like sales for the company over the first quarter increased 2.2%, whilst in-store basket spend rose 2.1%.
Andy Clarke, CEO and President of the grocery firm put these results down to price leadership, ongoing improvements in quality and its commitment to warm and friendly service. ASDA’s good customer service was highlighted in recent comments by members of SMG London’s online community of shoppers.
These results coincide with news that Asda is going to roll out two ‘concept stores’ in Leicester and Bolden. In the style of a department store, they are part of an overall departure of supermarkets from the typical grocery offering.
Supermarkets likely to take advantage of Clinton Card's troubles
Supermarket competition has impacted Clinton’s card business significantly, and supermarkets are set to take up the slack resulting from Clinton’s 350 store closures announced this week.
Clinton has been sluggish in responding to changes in the market and competition from supermarkets, e-cards and online businesses. In particular, it has failed to account for how supermarket card offerings fit into people’s shopping routines. If it’s your daughter’s birthday, why not simply pick a card up during your weekly shop? And with supermarkets selling cards as low as 99p, the future doesn't look bright for the beleaguered retailer.
More Supermarket Sweep of News next week...
Sources: The Grocer http://bit.ly/KWWEGs Drapers Online http://bit.ly/KWWLSn Retail Gazette http://bit.ly/KWWRJS, http://bit.ly/KWXjry http://bit.ly/KWXS4v Reuters http://reut.rs/KWWWNu Mail Online http://bit.ly/J2mDtR, http://bit.ly/KXEhBi Retail Week http://bit.ly/KWXuD1