Sainsbury has made such huge improvements to its promotional execution that suppliers now rate it as one of the trade's best performers rather than its worst, according to the results of a new survey unveiled at the seminar.

In the week that Sainsbury recorded its fifth consecutive quarter of growth, the survey conducted by Billetts Marketing Sciences and The Grocer ranked the retailer in third place behind Tesco and Waitrose.

David Bridges, chief executive of Billetts, said: "Most suppliers have experienced real progress with Sainsbury and 64% now rank them above average when it comes to execution."

That is a huge turnaround from last year's survey when suppliers branded Sainsbury as "hopeless" and placed it bottom of the pile when it came to promotional execution.

This year typical remarks from suppliers were "our best performer - a big turnaround" and "improving through better systems and closer working".

Waitrose topped the list for the second year running.

Bridges said: "Most suppliers said Waitrose was good because it kept execution simple. But this could become more difficult because of their larger estate."

Tesco again did well, although there was more diversity of opinion on its performance.