SAINSBURY’s new boss Mike Coupe’s biggest challenge will be the threat from a trading recovery at Tesco, City experts have warned.
It was announced last week that Coupe, Sainsbury’s commercial director, is taking over as chief executive this year from Justin King, who is stepping down after a successful decade transforming Sainsbury’s fortunes.
Bryan Roberts, an analyst with the Kantar Retail consultancy, said: “The main challenge for Coupe is that Sainsbury’s is firmly in the crossfire of a recovering Tesco.
“Tesco will throw money and effort at it this year. Tesco’s scale and the depth of its pockets is really intimidating.
“If Tesco can push the right buttons on quality and service then Sainsbury’s arguably has the most to lose.” Sainsbury’s most recent trading quarter saw sales growth of just 0.2 per cent, its slowest rate in nine years.