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Sainsbury's and Asda defend £13bn merger

Sainsbury's and Asda defend £13bn merger

Business
Sainsbury's and Asda say their planned £13bn merger will maintain the number of stores operated by the two brands and cut shoppers' costs.The deal - likely to face close scrutiny by competition authorities - will create a grocery powerhouse overtaking Tesco as the number one player in the sector, with combined revenues of £51bn.There are no plans to close Sainsbury's or Asda stores though executives are targeting savings of £500m, including "operational efficiencies" and by opening Argos concessions in Asda stores.Sainsbury's chief executive Mike Coupe said however that he could not dismiss the possibility that regulators could order the disposal of some sites.Analysts at Global Data said at least 75 would have to go.Sainsbury's said customers would see benefits including price cuts of 10%
'Stores will close' if Asda and Sainsbury's merge

'Stores will close' if Asda and Sainsbury's merge

Business
Stores will close if Asda and Sainsbury's merge, a union has warned.Sky News exclusively revealed on Saturday that Asda's owner, Wal-Mart, was in advanced talks with Sainsbury's about a shock £10bn tie-up that would create ‎a more powerful rival to Tesco, the current UK market leader.Joe Clarke, national officer for Sainsbury's at the union Unite, told Sky News the potential deal was an "absolute shocker", with "implications for tens of thousands of jobs".Staff were in "utter disarray" and "absolutely shocked", he said, adding that Unite was asking for "senior level discussions" with both companies "immediately".Image:Asda's owner, Wal-Mart, is in talks with Sainsbury'sRetail analyst Natalie Berg said there would "naturally be some job losses" if the deal went ahead, partly because there w
Sainsbury's and Asda in merger talks

Sainsbury's and Asda in merger talks

Business
Merger talks between British supermarket chains Sainsbury's and Asda are at an "advanced" stage, Sainsbury's has confirmed.The two brands are expected to be retained should a merger go ahead.Sainsbury's and Asda - the UK arm of Walmart - are the second and third largest supermarkets in the UK.The combined group would comprise 2,800 stores and would represent 31.4% of the UK grocery market - slightly more than that of market leader Tesco. 'Game changer'"Sainsbury's confirms that it and Walmart Inc. are in advanced discussions regarding a combination of the Sainsbury's and Asda businesses," a statement from its holding company, J Sainsbury plc, said.The deal would be worth £10bn and a further announcement is expected on Monday morning. Richard Lim, from economics research consultancy Retail
Sainsbury's and Asda in shock merger talks

Sainsbury's and Asda in shock merger talks

Business
J Sainsbury and Wal-Mart, the world's biggest supermarket retailer, are in advanced talks about a shock £10bn tie-up that would create ‎a more powerful rival to Tesco, the current UK market leader.Sky News exclusively revealed on Saturday that the two companies are in negotiations about combining Wal-Mart's Asda business with Sainsbury's, in a deal that would send shockwaves through the entire British retail industry.Following the story, Sainsbury's released a statement confirming the groups were in advanced talks.It said: "J Sainsbury plc notes the speculation concerning a possible combination with Asda Group Limited. Sainsbury's confirms that it and Walmart Inc are in advanced discussions regarding a combination of the Sainsbury's and Asda businesses. A further announcement will be made
Boost for Sainsbury's after Christmas sales rise

Boost for Sainsbury's after Christmas sales rise

Business
Sainsbury's has upgraded its profit outlook after reporting a 1.1% rise in like-for-like sales over the Christmas period.The supermarket group, which also owns Argos, was lifted by growth in grocery and clothing sales though general merchandise revenues were down for the 15 weeks to 6 January, in what was described as a "challenging" market.It appeared to mirror a trend across the sector for squeezed households to focus on essentials such as food while cutting back on presents and other non-food items.Sainsbury's said it remained cautious about the consumer environment but that, thanks to better than expected savings following its 2016 takeover of Argos, full year profits should be "moderately" ahead of market expectations.Shares were up more than 2% in early trading.Chief executive Mike C...