J Sainsbury Plc
Industry Areas: Supermarkets, Banks, Developments.
OverviewSupermarkets have long been recognised by farmers and campaigners as a danger to community life and good food, but during the last four or five years, with an ever-deepening farming crisis and food scare after food scare, supermarkets have come under even more intense scrutiny from the public and eventually even the government, with its Competition Commission report, which was released in late 2000. Sainsbury's, as Britain's second largest supermarket chain, has been criticised for its links with government and related promotion of genetic engineering, excessive transportation, promoting intensive farming, paying producers low prices, and destroying small businesses, among other corporate crimes. Market Share/Importance:
At the end of May 2001, Sainsburys had 453 outlets in the UK, and over 138 000 employees. Until the mid-1990s, when it was overtaken by Tesco, Sainsbury's was Britain's largest supermarket chain. Since then it has fallen well behind Tesco and now its position is even threatened by Asda, which exceeds it in terms of volume of goods sold but not in sales. For the twelve weeks leading up to the end of August 2001, Tesco had 22.8% of sales, Sainsbury's had 15.8% and Asda had 12.4%. Sainsbury's share of the market had decreased from 16% over the last year, whilst Tesco and Asda had both increased their shares. History:
Sainsbury's own version of its history can be found at www.j-sainsbury.com/about/history_sainsburys.htm
The most recent developments for Sainsbury's are that it has sold its Homebase DIY stores and discontinued Sainsbury's Egypt. In the summer of 2001, rumours began to circulate of a possible merger between Sainsburys and Boots, due to a joint project which is due to be trialled in early 2002, though this was denied by both companies.
 BBC News, 21st December 2000 http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/business/newsid_1081000/1081154.stm
 'Price Cutting Pays For Top Stores', Mail On Sunday, 2nd September 2001, www.thisismoney.com/20010902/nm37007.html
 J Sainsbury PLC Annual Report and Financial Statements 2001, p.3
 Sainsburys Mulls Boots Merger, 16th Sept 2001, Mail on Sunday www.thisismoney.com/20010916/nm37683.html