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Sainsbury’s commits £500m to price cuts amid cost of living crisis

Sainsbury's File photo dated 15/10/21 of shoppers in the fruit and vegetables section of a branch of Sainsbury's in London. Food prices are rising at near-record levels as the cost-of-living crisis bites, according to new data. Issue date: Tuesday March 1, 2022.
Sainsbury's will invest more than £500m into lower pricing by March 2023. Photo: PA (PA)

Sainsbury's (SBRY.L) is ramping up efforts to keep a lid on prices amid a cost of living crisis and will spend £500m ($632m) between March 2021 and March 2023 to keep costs down.

Milk, eggs, meat, fish, fruit and vegetables and “key household essentials” would be the targets for retaining lower prices, Sainsbury’s said.

"Our commitment to saving money and reinvesting where it can make the biggest difference to customers means we are now able to commit a total of over £500m to lower prices and help customers manage inflation," said Sainsbury's.

Sainsbury's said it is keeping its price increases lower than those of its major peers while winning market share on a volume basis.


"We are relentlessly focused on driving savings that can be reinvested into keeping food prices low," chief executive Simon Roberts said.

Read more: What is the cost of living and how you can manage yours

Sainsbury’s made a net profit of £677m in the year to March 2022 and is estimated to make another £400m profit in the current financial year.

The pricing strategy includes its Price Lock campaign, which commits to holding the price of more than 1,800 items for at least a week.

“The cost of living is having a huge impact on our customers’ and colleagues’ lives and we understand that, right now, every penny counts,” Roberts added.

It is also continuing with its Aldi Price Match on a raft of products as its discount rival reports increasing sales amid the cost of living crisis.

The UK’s second-largest supermarket chain said that the £500m figure includes actions already taken in the last year, plus some to be brought in for the year to come.

UK households have been squeezed by a surge in inflation, with the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealing that food inflation grew by 6.8% last month, on the back of sharp increases for meat and dairy products.

Read more: Cost of living crisis: Grocery prices rise at fastest rate since 2009

Sainsbury’s commitment comes after Iceland supermarket chain managing director Richard Walker said some of Iceland’s customers are “disappearing into food banks”.

On Sunday, Walker told Sophy Ridge on Sky News that cashiers at the supermarket have been asked by some shoppers to alert them when the price of their shopping hits £40 so they can abandon the rest of their items at the checkout.

Watch: How to save money on a low income