Sir: Price wars are an archaic approach to battling for loyalty. Justin King putting his sword to one side and choosing to compete in a different way is a brave but commendable move (‘Sainsbury’s profits climb 5.3% as King heads for exit,’ thegrocer.co.uk, 7 May). But are Brand Match and food provenance really his best substitute armoury? Today’s shoppers expect more than lower price tags or local goods. retailers must focus on what they stand for and who their customers are if they’re to win over shoppers in 2014.
Retailers must reconsider large stores; shoppers crave convenience, which can lead them online and away from the store. But redefining convenience, like Tesco has done, investing in a large shopping hub in Watford, where shoppers can go for more than groceries, means busy shoppers can get multiple things done under one roof.
Another avenue for retailers is to use shopper data to deliver what customers want and need. Making the most of what it is that makes shoppers spend with them is key to achieving loyalty. For example, Waitrose recently invested in repositioning its brand to stand for British quality, offering bespoke hospitality to its customers via additional services like wine tasting.
Price isn’t the battleground to be concerned with and neither is brand matching. Knowing who your customers are and what they want from you is.
Mark Croxton, head of global customer support, Symphony EYC