Main | About Max Blumberg »

January 26, 2005

Why we've created this site

Hello, we are Max Blumberg, Freddie Daniells and Johnnie Moore and we are the hosts of 173drurylane.com.  173 Drury Lane is the place where the very first Sainsbury's opened, way back in 1869.

We created this website because we wanted to generate an online discussion about the future of Sainsbury’s.  To be very clear, this site is NOT authorised or written by J.Sainsbury plc.

Most people know that Sainsbury’s has been in the headlines lately, and often for the wrong reasons.  We think it’s a shame that the company is having a tough time; that’s not good for anyone who works there, shops there or invests in Sainsbury’s.

So we thought: what could we do about it?

Although we are all marketing consultants, we wanted to avoid the usual mistake of smugly coming up with miracle solutions for problems.  And the last thing Sainsbury’s needs right now is another bunch of experts complacently telling them what to do.

Instead, we thought it would be more fun, and more productive, to host a discussion – between ourselves, and with anyone else – about how Sainsbury’s could do better.

What we’re aiming for here is constructive debate. We welcome heartfelt criticism as well as praise, with the intention of pointing to some more positive futures for Sainsbury’s.

So, whatever your relationship to Sainsbury’s – shopper, investor, employee, director, shareholder or competitor – you’re invited to join the discussion.

And we’ll see where we end up!

Posted by Johnnie Moore on January 26, 2005 at 07:02 PM in About this site | Permalink

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
https://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83458bc1869e200d83425421b53ef

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Why we've created this site:

» Supermarket Blogs from Modern Marketing - Collaborate Marketing Services
Yesterday's Sunday Telegraph carried a story about UK business and the blogopshere. It focuses on the UK supermarket sector and looks at the Tesco's focused Super Market Sweep Up blog and Johnnie Moore's 173 Drury Lane which is about JS [Read More]

Tracked on Sep 5, 2005 7:28:25 PM

» 5th Estate On Supermarkets from Modern Marketing - Collaborate Marketing Services
Yesterday's Sunday Telegraph carried a story about UK business and the blogopshere focusing on the supermarket sector. It looks at the Tesco's focused Super Market Sweep Up blog and Johnnie Moore's 173 Drury Lane which is about JS Sainsbury. The [Read More]

Tracked on Sep 5, 2005 7:34:54 PM

» 5th Estate On Supermarkets from Modern Marketing - Collaborate Marketing Services
Yesterday's Sunday Telegraph carried a story about UK business and the blogopshere focusing on the supermarket sector. It looks at the Tesco's focused Super Market Sweep Up blog and Johnnie Moore's 173 Drury Lane which is about JS Sainsbury. The [Read More]

Tracked on Sep 5, 2005 7:36:50 PM

Comments

Although Sainsbury's has had a good deal of success over the past few years with their strategy of using high prfile celebreties in their marketing, they should look closer to the core of their business before they start planning their marketing campaigns. Over the past ten years, they have diversified their produst range along with all the other major retailers, but this has only served to confuse the customers. In addition the levels of customer service have dropped, thus providing customers with a high level of dissatisfaction. Sainsbury's should go back to basics and review their product offering and their service. Direct the budgets in these areas and they will win customers back. No matter how good your marketing is, if your product is not right, you will not retain customers.

Posted by: Owen Hughes | Feb 21, 2005 9:30:08 AM

Has anyone heard of Target stores? I remember the first one back in the U.S. sometime in the 80's. They were discount department stores and nothing fancy. Wall Mart came after and really took the discount end to a whole new low, and so Target shifted their approach; going more boutique-y. They sell items that have a more Ikea feel to them and have in-store lines by famous designers. It's a much better place to shop, you get decent products at good prices. The feel of the place is so much better; it's comfortable to shop there. What I've been feeling at my Sainsbury's is stress. What I'm seeing with more and more corporate environments is such an attention to profit margins; very little interest in the 'shopping experience.' I already feel shitty spending money; can't I at least feel more comfortable while I'm doing it?

Posted by: londonchef | Aug 30, 2005 4:27:34 PM

I have been shopping at Sainsbury's on (and off) for coming up to a decade. From my perspective, the HUGE problem that Sainsbury's has had, and is now slowly correcting, is the 'Now we have it, now we don't' approach to stocking their shelves. While King was in charge, there was this massive SKU reduction policy (SKU referring to a particular item, so SKU reduction means less TYPES of things on sale.) The consequence was that the same brand would occupy feet of space on the shelf, and, you've guessed it, it tended not to be the brand I wanted. Even worse, they would bring a new, non-bland (i.e. non-big-name-staple) brand in, I might try it and get to like it, then they would drop it in favour of a different one!! What were the supply chain problems that caused this rot? It seems a much deeper canker than has afflicted the other majors. I'm in a good position to compare, because Sainsbury's has been the most convenient for me, hence my repeatedly going back, but not the place I would go to by choice if all were equally convenient. Does anyone else think that what Sainsbury's have (or have not) been puting on their shelves is the crux on Sainsbury's problems??? Duh?

Posted by: John Reynolds | Sep 4, 2005 10:21:17 AM

In response to Owen Hughes' comments 'if the product is not right, you will not retain the customer,' I would say productS not product (yes, I know you mean the overall mix, but hey, this is a SHOP.) What I take issue with in the comment is the suggestion that 'diversifying the product range' (i.e. giving customers more choice, if you were to use less perjorative language) actually CONFUSES the customer. Oh no, back we go again to SKU reduction in which Sainsbury's 'refocuses' on the same major brands and drops all the nice stuff. What we customers want is the stuff we like, with a supply chain that can cope with different sku's, and NOT miles upon miles of the same stuff on the shelves.

Posted by: John Reynolds | Sep 4, 2005 10:29:50 AM

I am a retail addict. As a child, when "Payantake" was the only supermarket on the High Street (late 1950's)and Sainsbury's still scooped the butter off a 2-stone mound and patted it into shape for each individual customer, I used to wander round shops on my way home from schoool, totally fascinated by how people spent their money and how goods reached consumers. In the 80's, when Tesco's started to recruit graduates into its marketing and training operations, I still never believed they would ever shake off the old image. Tesco versus Sainsbury's was class war, and even today - outside the metropolitan centres - I always feel more able to identify with Sainsbury's staff than with Tesco's. I am sure it was this class differentiation that enabled Tesco's to grab first the mass market - and wean it off traditional butchers, grocers and greengrocers and then, with its locations and territorial expansion take on the higher end of the market. Sainsbury's gamble appears to be a belief that the foodies will prevail, that there will be a rise in the number of consumers wanting to buy ingredients rather than "meal solutions" and that they can confidently claim the gastronomic high ground - or at least share it with Waitrose. Tesco's burgeoning success has been a sad reflection on the culinary incompetence and indifference of the British woman, as Gordon Ramsay is now highlighting in his new series. In Sainsbury's position, I would give the local Farmers' Market the bottom end of my car park at weekends for a nominal rental, and consoldate the real-food image. Bob Harvey

Posted by: Bob Harvey | Oct 30, 2005 4:28:02 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.