UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s (a sponsor of the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute) has been doing rather well. And over Christmas they astounded financial analysts with their performance compared to other retailers. Like-for-like sales over the Christmas 2010 quarter were up 3.5%, and they overtook Asda to become the 2nd largest supermarket.
How did they do it?
Chief Executive Justin King highlighted one crucial factor – 12,000 tons of salt. No they didn’t sell it, they used it on their car-parks when it snowed, ensuring that their stores where accessible to customers. “You just have to get on with it and provide the best for customers. There is no doubt the snow had an impact, but if you lie back and become a victim to the snow, then you’re not doing what we’re here to do. Some [retailers] did better than others.” said Justin King.
And to further consolidate their success they opened 700,000 sq feet of new stores and upgrades.
A great example of the power of physical availability.