Company: J Sainsbury PLC
Brand value: US$2,673 million
Headquarter city: London
Year formed: 1869
Sainsbury’s, the oldest of the “Big four” UK supermarkets, was founded by James and Mary Ann Sainsbury, who opened their first store in central London’s Drury Lane. There are now about 600 Sainsbury’s supermarkets and 800 convenience stores. Sainsbury’s says it has 16 percent market share with more than 22 million shoppers visiting its stores every week. Quality, low-priced groceries are the bulk of Sainsbury’s business, but it also has a clothing line, TU, and sells homewares, financial services and energy services. Its current slogan, “Live well for less” was introduced in 2011 to replace “Try something new today”. The brand has frequently used celebrity ambassadors in its advertising, most notably the TV chef Jamie Oliver, but more recently it has focused on ordinary people rather than famous faces. In 2017, Sainsbury’s launched its black-and-white “Food dancing” multi-channel campaign, showing real people dancing in their kitchens as they cook, showing the joy of preparing food. Sainsbury’s is famous for its annual Christmas TV ad; its 2016 ad, “Greatest Gift”, was a highly popular stop-motion animation featuring the voice of James Corden, highlighting the importance of sharing time with special people. The brand continues to use celebrities to promote its Active Kids community sports programme; current ambassadors include Paralympian swimmer Ellie Simmonds and England footballer Daniel Sturridge.
In 2016, Sainsbury’s was shown to be the only one of the top four supermarkets to be growing sales at that time, and since 2013 it has had the longest run of sales growth of any of the main retailers. More recently, it has made headlines over possible job losses as a result of cost-cutting, as well as their decision to drop the Fairtrade mark from its own-label tea. Sainsbury’s parent company J Sainsbury’s Ltd is listed on the London Stock Exchange, and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index.