Sainsbury has significantly relaxed wastage targets at its stores in a bid to get to grips with availability problems over the festive season.
Suppliers welcomed the decision, which is likely to increase costs at Sainsbury but help provide a clearer picture of actual demand and ensure shelves remain stocked.
The move is the latest in a series of initiatives to tackle
availability including the reopening of Sainsbury’s Buntingford depot and the relaunch of its supplier dependencies manual (The Grocer, December 4, p5).
However, suppliers remain confident Sainsbury will be able to resolve its problems, according to a survey by IGD, with one in two planning to devote more management resource to the account next year. In the survey of 170 JS suppliers, almost half expected their turnover and volumes through Sainsbury to increase in the next 12 months.
Two thirds also believed in-store implementation would improve, three-quarters were confident that availability would improve and 59% believed customer service would get better over three years.
However, almost half (44%) believed Sainsbury would continue to lose market share to rivals in the short term.
IGD chief executive Joanne Denney-Finch said: “It will be encouraging for the management that suppliers are behind the new strategy. However, this Christmas will be critical as it seeks to re-establish its standing with customers.”
Of those questioned, 54% were branded suppliers, 17% own label suppliers and 29% suppliers of both own label and branded goods.