Sainsbury's results - Introduction

Engagement with RTTT

Sainsbury’s was one of the first companies to sign up to the Race to the Top project in 2001. It worked constructively with other project partners to develop and test the data collection methods used by the project. Sainsbury’s participated in the pilot year (2002) and in that year submitted a full data set. But engagement suffered with staff and organisational changes. The company did not supply data in 2003, and on 15 September 2003 sent a letter to RTTT explaining that it would not be participating in the project in 2003-4.

Company overview

Sainsbury’s is now the third largest grocery retailer in the UK on the basis of reported turnover, having recently been overtaken by Asda — it was the UK’s leading grocery retailer from the late 1980s to 1995. In the year ended March 2003 it reported worldwide group turnover of over £17.4 billion and profits of £454 million, with a total of over 170,000 full- and part time-staff. It has 498 stores in the UK, with an average sales area of about 2,800 m2, as well as 185 stores in the USA (Shaw’s). Sainsbury’s has struggled in recent years, along with Safeway, to achieve the growth of its more successful UK competitors, and market share has decline to just over 16%.

2003 results: overview

No data were submitted.

A store shelf survey of local and locality foods stocked by retailers was conducted by Sustain and the NFWI; results for Sainsbury's can be found here.

Comments from Sainsbury's

"Sainsbury’s have taken part in the Race to the Top project since 2001 and were committed as one of six supermarkets to the development of the questionnaire and collection of data during the pilot year. We have also been working with RTTT to revise and review the modules based on our experiences over the last year.

We have recently reviewed all benchmarking and survey activity within both CSR and SRI sections of the business and have made the decision to restrict the number of surveys we participate in. We remain committed to strengthening the amount and depth of information available to all stakeholders on our CSR website.

"Whilst we remain committed to enhancing our social, environmental and ethical policies and performance we feel that the resources we have in the past dedicated to this project will be better utilised in progressing our social, environmental and ethical programmes."

Leigh Ann Tomkins, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, J. Sainsbury

top Posted: 26-Nov-2003

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