Sales of Sainsbury’s Basics range have risen to around 3% of total sales, compared with 2% 12 months ago, while the company’s premium range ‘Taste the Difference’ has remained steady at 7%. Justin King attributes the increase in sales of Basics to “savvy shoppers.” However, he said the next few months were expected to show an upswing in retail spending, as compared to the same period a year ago, Britain was in the grip of the banking crisis. However, while this may give a “slightly bouncier feeling,” he warned that pressures are building up for the consumer, with tax increases on the horizon, possible cuts in public spending and continued unemployment.
“We are seeing a consumer with a little bit more money in their pocket, who’s hunkered down their spending over a period of time, being a little bit more upbeat than they were six months ago, and coming back out of their shell a bit. But all of the real things that are coming the consumer’s way in the next 12-18 months are going to work in the opposite direction,” he cautioned. A fundamental change will turn the economy, King suggests, such as a return to job creation or an end to the prospect of raising taxes and cutting public spending.