Justin King, former CEO of J Sainsbury plc, who held this position for 10 years before retiring earlier this year in July, has said that grocers should not be neglecting bricks-and-mortar stores in today’s digital era.
Retailers “take leave of their senses” when they chase online distribution over traditional sales, said Sainsbury’s former chief executive Justin King.
He places emphasis on the fact that retailers must not focus wholly in today’s market on online shopping. “The major supermarkets have invested billions in growing online business yet it’s still only 4%,” he argued. Interestingly for every £1 spent in supermarkets, 96% is spent in “real shops” while only 4% is spent online – therefore he believes that if a retailer is focussing more and more on the 4% online sales, then the 96% will only get smaller which long term is not beneficial for supermarkets.
King was addressing the Captains of Industry lunch at the World Travel Market when he made these comments.
Justin King created annual sales growth for Sainsbury’s from £10.3 billion in 2004 to £26.4 billion during his 10 year stint as CEO. He placed a firm interest in ensuring time was spent communicating and listening to customers and employees,” we wanted people to re-engage with the brand.”
Sainsbury’s slogan “Live Well For Less” was coined in 2011 whilst Justin King was CEO and replaced the previous slogan “Try Something New today” which would have gone against the idea of shopping in stores rather than online.