Sainsbury's shake-up 'madness'

02 November, 2007

Taking out buying headcount in a supposed "destination" category where your major competitor is doing the exact opposite seems madness (Sainbury's new-look BWS team, OLN, Oct 19).

It is simply about cutting costs. OK, buyers move around as part of their career development, but these moves came out of the blue and the decisions made with little or no thought.

Also, to load up the remaining buyers with more buying responsibility means that, by definition, they will then spend less time on product sourcing and selection. It is this attention to detail that I believe makes the point of difference

We also know that Sainsbury's has declared a big investment back into own-label.

How can fewer buyers do that when they spend most of their time squeezing suppliers for margin and balancing numbers?

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Talking terroir

When Bordeaux was in fashion, it seemed almost logical that we should fetishise winemakers. Here were people responsible for brilliant acts of blending, across large estates and multiple grape varieties, including superstars such as cabernet sauvignon and merlot. These days, fashion has moved on and pinot noir is ascendant. As a result, the star of the winemaker has fallen and we find ourselves following a new star in the sky: terroir.

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