Our business strategy

Since we first opened our doors in 1869 we’ve helped our customers live well for less. It’s the lifeblood of our business. It shapes our strategy, which delivers value to customers and shareholders.

Strategy Chart

The five pillars of our strategy

Our business strategy shows the areas that matter most to us and the ways we’re making a difference to customers’ lives every day.

The strategy is made up of five pillars. We know our customers better than anyone else. We will be there whenever and wherever they need us, offering great products and services at fair prices. Our colleagues make the difference, our values make us different.

You can find out more about each of these by clicking on the relevant section of our business strategy.

Strategy Chart
We know our customers better than anyone else
Colleagues making the difference
Great products and services at fair prices
Our values make us different
There for our customers

What does this mean?

For our future success we need to understand what our customers want. So, we take every opportunity to talk to them face-to-face, over the telephone and through online conversations. This gives us a detailed picture of how they shop with us, across all our channels and allows us to find out what they value, how their needs are changing and how we can serve them better.

Why does it matter?

The better we know our customers, the more we can reward them on things that matter to them most and provide new products and services. This approach helps increase loyalty and complements our vision. During the year, we send around 35 million mailings to Nectar card holders, using their shopping preferences to tailor personalised offers and vouchers.

How are we achieving this?

Over 15 million Nectar card holders shop with us every year – in store, online and through Sainsbury’s Bank. This gives us valuable information and increases our knowledge of how our customers are shopping and interacting with us.

million Nectar cardholders regularly shop with us

What does this mean?

We want to be an employer where colleagues love to work. We’re proud of the lengths our colleagues go to to help our customers and our communities. We empower them to make real changes to the business and we invest in training and development, encouraging them to diversify their skills.

Why does it matter?

We’re well known for having great customer service and that’s all down to the commitment and collaboration of our colleagues. They are our business. They make us who we are and are the reason why so many customers come back to us time and time again.

How are we achieving this?

We encourage our colleagues to expand their skills through initiatives and programmes such as our mentoring scheme for female colleagues and apprenticeships at our Bakery Colleges.

We’re the largest UK employer to be awarded three consecutive ‘Gold’ accreditations by Investors in People for developing, supporting and motivating our colleagues.

colleagues per year attend skills courses

What does this mean?

Our core purpose is to provide great food at a fair price. We believe in being fair to our suppliers and our environment, and don’t cut corners for short term gain.

As well as expanding choice in our food business, we’re growing our range of affordable, design-led clothing and general merchandise and building our banking business to meet future customer needs.

Why does it matter?

Our focus on quality, provenance and sustainability sets us apart from other supermarkets while our strategy of regular lower prices reassures customers that they’ve come to the right place.

How are we achieving this?

Our acquisition of Argos and Habitat has accelerated our strategy. We’ve created a multi-product, multi-channel business with fast delivery networks, offering our customers complementary products and services from brands they trust.

We sell over
own-brand products sourced from the UK

What does this mean?

Our values are what we stand for. They’re at the heart of everything we do and have been central to our business since day one. They make us who we are and help us to stay focused and on track.

They are: Living healthier lives, Sourcing with integrity, Respect for our environment, Making a positive difference to our community and A great place to work.

Why does it matter?

Our values strengthen our relationships with customers, suppliers, colleagues and they make commercial sense. They make sure that we do right by our suppliers and by our planet and take responsibility for the communities on our doorstep.

They encourage us to look to the future and find innovative ways to make our customers’ lives easier such as our Waste less, Save more initiative.

How are we achieving this?

Our Sustainability Plan focuses on where we can make the most positive impact. Our commitments are aligned against each of our values, with targets which demonstrate the difference we’re making.

of the palm oil we use to make own-brand products is certified sustainable

What does this mean?

Our customers’ lives are changing and we’re changing with them. To help our customers shop whenever, wherever and however they want, we’re making online shopping more flexible, expanding our smaller convenience store network and growing choice in our supermarkets.

Why does it matter?

Sainsbury’s, Argos and Habitat are well placed to serve customers quickly and conveniently whenever and wherever they want to shop. We’re also developing our stores, offering wider choices of food, general merchandise and clothing under one roof.

How we’re achieving this

As part of our ambition to be a multi-product, multi-channel retailer we have already opened 60 Argos Digital stores in Sainsbury’s supermarkets and we plan to open 200 more. We also have over 200 digital collection points and seven mini Habitats.

customer visits to Argos digital channels per year