30-Mar-2015

Sainsbury's boss Coupe eyes 1,500-strong convenience store estate

 

 

Sainsbury’s boss Mike Coupe says the grocer could double its convenience estate to more than 1,500 stores and predicted that the big four may not exist in 10 years’ time.

 

The supermarket giant revealed a 1.9% drop in group sales for the 10 weeks to March 14 – the fifth consecutive quarter its sales have fallen.

 

But Sainsbury's Local stores posted a 14% surge in revenues over the same period, as it opened 23 new sites to take its portfolio of C-stores to more than 700.

 

“None of us has the right to survive. I am absolutely certain that there will be a different world in 10 years’ time.”

Mike Coupe, Sainsbury’s

 

Coupe told the Daily Mirror that Sainsbury’s were opening “one to two” convenience stores a week and insisted that “within the realms of possibility” that number would exceed 1,000 and possibly reach 1,500.

 

But Coupe admitted that supermarkets remained in the midst of challenging market conditions.

 

He said: “Selling groceries at the moment is the hardest I have seen in my 30 years in the industry. There has been no volume growth in the past five years, there has been a lot of change in customer habits, and people have more ways to shop.”

 

Coupe added: “None of us has the right to survive. I am absolutely certain that there will be a different world in 10 years’ time.

 

“What’s difficult, gazing into my crystal ball, is what they will look like.

 

“There might not necessarily be a big four, or maybe there will be a different big four.

 

“For all I know there is a kid in California who is inventing a whole new way of shopping for groceries that none of us has thought of.”

 

 

By Luke Tugby - Retail Week