Wal-Mart Stores Inc. with its Asda chain and J Sainsbury Plc are confident that the British consumers will feast this Christmas in preparation for belt-tightening to come. The forecast by several research organizations including Verdict Research is unanimous in its conclusion that the festive season this year will be the best for UK retailers since 2007. The projected spending on food and grocery showing an increase of 3.5% to 33.1 billion pounds.
Sainsbury Chief Executive Officer, Justin King believes that Christmas is a time when people trade up on food. On Dec. 25, that means turkey, flaming Christmas pudding with brandy butter, mince pies and foil-wrapped crackers that open with a pop to reveal a paper crown, corny joke and gift. Asda, the No. 2 after Tesco Plc and Sainsbury the U.K.’s third-largest supermarket chain are confident that the consumers will defy the downturn and add more expensive treats to their shopping baskets.
Both Asda and Sainsbury have bulked up their premium private label offerings. It offers better margin for the retailer and makes a lot of sense as a strategy to cash in on the holiday shopping spree. Sainsbury has added 300 items to its Taste the Difference line.