sainsbury's bogof multibuy

Sainsbury’s has axed multibuys two months ahead of schedule and called on other retailers to follow suit.

Having pledged to phase out all multibuys on food by August, the supermarket revealed today it had completed the initiative last month.

It had decided to speed up the project due to customer appetite for “simpler, clearer prices”, it said. The supermarket reported its “highest-ever” customer satisfaction scores for the 12 months to June 2016, during which time it had steadily cut down on multibuys. A customer poll in March 2015 had also revealed multibuys were largely unpopular with shoppers, who felt they encouraged unnecessary spending and food waste, Sainsbury’s added.

Food waste has been a key focus for the retailer, which launched its five-year ‘Waste Less, Save More’ project last year to trial innovative waste-cutting ideas and technology.

Sainsbury’s food commercial director Paul Mills-Hicks called on other retailers to also remove multibuys, which he said were “out of step with changing shopping habits”. He stressed today’s shoppers tended to shop more frequently than once a week, making these offers “increasingly unhelpful and irrelevant to their lives”.

“We’ve worked hard to phase out multibuys as quickly as we could because our customers tell us they value choice and a simpler shopping experience,” he said.

“It’s very interesting to see people experimenting with new products and pack sizes now that they are not tied in to multibuys,” he added. “It’s clear that shoppers are enjoying the freedom to make decisions about what they buy based on what they need, rather than what’s on offer.”

Figures compiled for The Grocer by promotions experts Assosia show all the major mults have reduced their reliance on multibuys last year. However, in the most recent four-week period, to 3 July, overall promotional activity was up, though average savings were down.

Following Sainsbury’s decision to axe multibuys, the only categories using the mechanic will be lunch and Bistro meal deals, seasonal wine promotions and general merchandise.