Sainsbury's Supermarkets

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Introduction

Established in 1869, Sainsbury’s supermarkets remain one of the longest standing food
retailer chain stores in the whole of Britain. The supermarket chain was established by Mary Ann Sainsbury’s and John James. The company has remained an important source of employment for numerous people employing more than 145,000 people in Britain alone. Of these 145,000 employees, 60% are employed part time by the company while the remaining percentage is covered by employees who work full time for the organization. More than half the employees, about 62%, happen to be women.

In this essay, I examine the operations at Sainsbury supermarkets. I will give an analysis of the the way Sainsbury supermarkets are organized, the management style and the human resource. I will also look at their customer service practices and the performance management of Sainsbury supermarkets with a view to determining whether or not their choice of performance management has helped them succeed or if it has hundred their success in one way or the other. Finally, I will give my own opinion about my experiences and the kind of customer service that I have experienced in Sainsbury supermarkets. In conclusion, I will give recommendations on the activities that I believe Sainsbury supermarkets could undertake in order to improve its operations and profit margins (McCarthy, 1996).

Sainsbury’s supermarkets have established many stores which are of different kinds offering a range of products to customers. It is estimated that the stores stock an estimated 34,000 different products. Of these 34,000 products, more than half are Sainsbury’s own brand. The stores even stock fresh vegetable produce such as spinach and tomatoes. Some of the Sainsbury’s supermarkets also bake bread. This means that the customers who walk into Sainsbury’s supermarkets can have their bread or cake baked while they shop for grocery products and other household items. It is estimated that the number of customers that Sainsbury’s supermarkets is able to serve in a week is 11 million.

Analysis of Sainsbury
Sainsbury supermarkets operate both in the UK and the US. In both states the supermarket chain is the leading brand. Although the core business of the Sainsbury’s group is food sales, the company also deals in property and financial markets. In the UK, the Sainsbury's group owns banks as well as Sainsbury supermarkets. In the US, the Sainsbury's group owns Shows supermarkets. In total the Sainsbury's group has employed about 172,900 workers. Sainsbury’s supermarkets have realized that Customer service is very important to its operations. They realized also that the satisfaction of its customers would lead to them making huge profits. After conducting thorough market research, Sainsbury’s supermarkets learnt that when they satisfied their customers, they retained them. Studies have also shown that when customers are satisfied with the quality of service they are receiving, they will rarely deftest to other supermarkets (Chandy, et, el, 2001. These same studies have shown that the net profit of a store like Sainsbury’s supermarket can be increased by between 25-85% if the customers receive the kind of service that they are looking for (Treacy & Wiersema, 1993)

With this realization, Sainsbury’s supermarkets embarked on a campaign to improve the quality of service that they gave to their customers. Sometimes in an attempt to retain customers, Sainsbury’s supermarkets have had to damage control which in some cases involves a simple apology to customers who are dissatisfied with the level of service. This would prevent the customers from moving from their store and becoming loyal to another store. The reality is that when customers are satisfied, they buy more. In this regard, customer satisfaction leads to the generation of revenue.

In order to respond to this demand for customer satisfaction, Sainsbury’s supermarkets had quality measures controls securely built into their systems. These quality measures controls ensure that the products sold by the store are of the best quality. Selling of good quality products ensure that the each customer that walks into any of the Sainsbury’s supermarkets comes out of the store satisfied that they have received real value for their money. Also, ensuring that only the best qualities of products are sold will prevent any safety or health issues from arising. Safety or health issues could lead to law suits which cannot be good for the company's image and profits.

The company has managed to make profits mainly because they have maintained an image of a company that gives the best products and services to its clients. When a store like Sainsbury’s supermarket is sued by a customer who then their image may be permanently ruined. The customer will feel safe in the knowledge that the company puts his or her health safety first and that the products they buy from the Sainsbury’s supermarkets will not harm their health. The company has put measures in place to ensure that the products meet the highest health standards possible and that the customers feel like they can trust any product as long as it is sold at Sainsbury’s supermarket (Winer, 1996).

To ensure that they stick to their goal of ensuring that the safety of the customer is put above all else, Sainsbury’s supermarkets have established forums through which customers can express any form of dissatisfaction that they feel about the quality of service that they receive from Sainsbury’s supermarkets. The management of Sainsbury’s supermarkets ahs also ensured that the service to customers is reviewed on a regular basis. During these review meetings, the man agent of Sainsbury’s supermarket engages all the employees within the organization in finding ways to improve on the quality of their services. They identify areas that still need to be worked on.

Sainsbury’s supermarket has been looking for a competitive edge over its competitors and it has achieved this inculcating these measures that ensure that they retain their clients. Sainsbury’s supermarket has changed their supply chain creating a cost gap amounting to about £60 million. The Sainsbury’s chain of supermarkets has found new ways of linking the operations at Sainsbury’s supermarket with the other areas of business that is handled by the Sainsbury’s group such as Marketing, Finance and Human Resource Management.

Recommendations

The first recommendation that I would give to Sainsbury’s supermarkets is that the chain of supermarkets still needs to work on making its customer experience the best when compared to the other supermarkets that operate around them. Studies have shown that excellent customer care is able to bring in more customers than any other promotion or advertisement is able to achieve. Customers will be more loyal if they know that the company values them and puts their needs and references first. They also need to come up with products that are suited for individual customers (Tellis, 2004).

The ultimate result of this is that customers will remain loyal to Sainsbury’s supermarket which means that the company receives the most profit. Sainsbury’s supermarket has over the years used Performance Management in increasing the quality of service that their customers get. This has given Sainsbury’s supermarket a competitive edge over the others. This essay will show how they have managed to implement certain systems in their structures in order to improve their operations. This has been what has helped Sainsbury’s supermarket remain profitable despite the hard economic times.

Many customers no longer go for services that manufactured for the masses. A market research needs to be conducted in order to establish the kind of customers that the company has and stock products that respond to the needs of these particular customers. The other thing that the company could do is that it could spend more that on promotions and advertisements. This will get their brand out to the public (Porter, 1998). Studies have shown that brands and stores that advertise make more profits than those that the public does not know much about. While the company has invested quite some money on advertising, a lot more needs to be done, in my view to popularize the chain of supermarkets.

Finally, I would recommend that the management at Sainsbury’s supermarkets invest more in their human resource department. After my research, I discovered that while they are very keen about the kind of employees that hire in order to keep with the culture of Sainsbury’s supermarkets, the employees that are already with the group of companies could use a little more motivation. This will help in making them feel like they own Sainsbury’s supermarkets. Studies have shown that employees who identify with the organization they work for are generally more motivated, happy and report to work regularly. Happy employee for Sainsbury’s supermarkets will definitely mean better performance.

Conclusion

Analysis of both Tesco and Sainsbury revealed that in as much as, both organizations have invested in technology to boost their online sales, current consumer behaviour have had a negative impact on e-retail on both organizations. Based on the evidence, it is conceivable to conclude that most shoppers are deeply accustomed to old shopping habits. They prefer walking into outlets and convenient stores to do their shopping. Numerous findings provided substantial grounds to believe that aspects of brand loyalty and consumer fixation with certain products and shopping techniques are extremely important designing marketing models. Furthermore, analysis showed that young shoppers embrace technology and prefer e-shopping, as opposed to old shoppers. Both Tesco and Sainsbury must strengthen their e-retailing platforms by introducing rewards programs, as well as, design user friendly interfaces that do not require much technical skills to operate. This would encourage old customers to shop via the internet and, thus, reduce the operating expenses in future. Finally, this analysis established that retail organizations must focus on both retail and e-retail co-currently to leverage their sales.

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