Sainsbury's in hunt for consumer shop

Sainsbury's is tendering a high-profile consumer account as it looks to reclaim space in customers' shopping bags.

Sainsbury's: losing out to discount stores
Sainsbury's: losing out to discount stores

The supermarket chain, once the UK's largest and now third, wants to appoint by the end of next month.

Despite the high-profile nature of CEO Justin King, who is one of the most visible FTSE 100 bosses, Sainsbury's appears to be losing ground on rivals Tesco and Asda.

Rep­orts this week sugges­ted large supermarket chains are also losing out to discount outfits such as Lidl and Aldi as the downturn beg­ins to bite.

Compared with discount stores and Tesco, Asda and Morrisons, Sainsbury's showed the weakest growth for the 12 weeks to 15 June.

Sainsbury's has also been hit by negative press in the past month after its website went down over problems with the home ordering system. The incident cost the firm up to £1.5m in sales.

Sainsbury's consumer hunt comes after the hire of Hill & Knowlton consumer MD Rachel Friend as head of consumer PR in February (PRWeek, 21 February). Friend has alr­eady seen ten agencies.

‘We have a new consumer PR brief that we are asking a few agencies to pitch for and are hoping to appoint by the end of August,' said the firm in a statement. ‘Hill & Knowlton is the only consumer agency we work with on a formal basis, although its current brief is focused on health.'

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