Customer loyalty encouraged by incentives such as coupons have helped one of the UK's leading supermarkets, J Sainsbury, get its biggest slice of the market for almost a decade, according its boss.
The supermarket today announced its preliminary results for the 52 weeks to 17 March 2012. Total sales (inc VAT) were up 6.8 per cent to Â£24,511 million, while underlying profit before tax was up 7.1 per cent to Â£712 million. Market share is now at 16.6%.
Despite the public continuing to be downbeat about household finances, chief executive Justin King said that a perception of value for money, through schemes such as Brand Match and coupons and the Live Well for Less campaign, have helped boost profits.
Some 375 million coupons were issued at Sainsburys tills last year, with 125 suppliers taking part in the scheme. It has also resigned its deal with Nectar.
However, he said the public's appreciation of the company's brand values has also been important and a trend missed by other businesses during the downturn. He said: "It was not a race for the bottom, it was the customer saying times are tougher but I want to hold on to what's true."