Retail director Adam Fowle told the Mail on Sunday that research among people who shop at different supermarkets showed “that we are still a long way from getting it right”. He added that Sainsbury’s competitors were not delivering “outstanding service, so we are taking action to make sure we do”. Sainsbury said the move cost is a significant investment which it hopes to recoup in more customers. The staff will mainly be part-time, on hand to open extra tills at peak times.
The Guardian reported that the serious fraud office is on the brink of launching an investigation into share sales by Malcolm Walker, founder of the Iceland frozen food chain, before he stepped down as chairman of the company just over two years ago.
A Department of Trade and Industry investigation into alleged insider dealing at Iceland, part of the Big Food Group, has been referred to the SFO, which must now decide whether to take up the matter, the paper said.
Walker sold his stake in the business for £13.5m in December 2000, two weeks before the company issued the first of three profit warnings that sent its shares into freefall.
Morrisons could be forced to sell almost 80 stores if it bids for Safeway to satisfy competition authorities worried about local monopolies, the Financial Times said citing a study by data consultancy group CACI.
The findings suggests the level of store disposals could be much higher than that envisaged by the Bradford-based firm
Meanwhile, the Sunday Times reported that Sainsbury is drawing up secret plans to shed a quarter of its head-office jobs. Some 650 staff could go at its HQ in Holborn. An insider told the paper that it was “a massive cull” but necessary to keep Sainsbury competitive.
The Sunday Express said the battle for control of Safeway will be reignited when Tesco unveils a strong set of results tomorrow. There is also to be a trading statement from Safeway, which could prompt a formal offer for the company from retail entrepreneur Philip Green.
Marks and Spencer is expected to reveal strong food sales on Tuesday up 4% in the wake of new ranges of convenience meals and on the back of its Simply Food format over the last six months, according to the Business.