Sainsbury's is spending 50% more than Tesco per sq ft on its expansion, research by The Grocer in the wake of the collapse of Delta Two's bid has revealed.
Sainsbury's chief executive Justin King has said he wants to increase selling space by 10% by 2010 in the form of 30 new supermarkets, 100 Local stores and 75 store extensions.
But each new square foot is costing him an average of £614 compared with the £406 Tesco pays for its new locations, according to our research.
The research also showed that Tesco is pushing each new store to full profitability faster than Sainsbury's.
And the UK's largest retailer is also generating more pre-tax profit per worker than its rival - £6,785 compared with Sainsbury's £3,180.
The figures throw into question King's claim that his recovery plan, Making Sainsbury's Great Again, has been completed ahead of schedule.
"There is no doubt that there is more wastage at Sainsbury's than there is within Tesco," said one retail consultant. "King has done well to drive sales but must address the waste and inefficiencies that are holding back profits growth."