Analysis: Three strategic headaches facing Sainsbury’s boss Simon Roberts

Simon Roberts

Sainsbury’s new boss Simon Roberts unveiled a healthy set of numbers this morning in his first City outing since succeeding Mike Coupe as chief executive.

The grocer posted an 8.2% jump in like-for-like sales during the 16 weeks to June 27, as food sales surged 10.5% amid the ongoing pandemic and a spell of warmer weather. 

General merchandise revenues, including sales made through the Argos business, were up 7.2%, while online sales across the group more than doubled during the quarter. 

The figures underscored the fact that Sainsbury’s has emerged as one of the UK’s biggest winners from the health emergency – Roberts was keen to point out that the business has won customers from AldiLidl and its big-four rivals during the lockdown. 

But attention is already turning to the future and how Roberts might shape Sainsbury’s strategy in order to maintain such momentum once the coronavirus crisis subsides.

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