The UK retailer will phase out multibuy promotions across its grocery business by August 2016, following customer research revealing multibuys are out of step with today’s shopping habits.
Sainsbury’s Food Commercial Director Paul Mills-Hicks says shopping habits have changed significantly in recent years, with people shopping more frequently – often seeking to buy what they need at that moment in time.
“By replacing multibuy promotions with lower regular prices, we are making it easier for customers to buy the products they need, in the quantities they need, without having to buy multiple items to enjoy great value,” he said. “Since we started simplifying our pricing approach, we’ve seen a much greater variety of products in our customers’ baskets, signalling that they like the flexibility to make their own choices.”
Since March 2015, Sainsbury’s has removed more than 50 per cent of multibuy promotions from its grocery business in favour of lower regular prices, which it says customers have responded well to.
Core categories where multibuy promotions have already been replaced by lower regular prices include dairy, canned and packaged goods, meat, fish and poultry.
The vast majority of multibuy promotions will be phased out across the grocery business in-store and online by August 2016, but there will be a few exceptions where multibuy promotions will be used at certain times of the year.
According to a customer poll led by Sainsbury’s in March 2015, some of the key frustrations that customers found with multibuys were:
- Shoppers can feel they are spending more than they need to.
- Shoppers can feel forced into logistical concerns around waste.
- Shoppers can feel forced into logistical concerns around storage.
- Multibuys feel exclusive to families.
- Multibuys are one of the key reasons behind customers being surprised by the total at the till.
- Multibuys can force shoppers into complicated thinking in terms of value calculation.
- High-value multibuys can be polluted by low-value single-item deals.