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SWOT analysis of Sainsbury’s

SWOT analysis of Sainsbury’s

This article is about a detailed SWOT analysis of Sainsbury’s. It examines the strengths and the weaknesses of Sainsbury’s. It also examines the opportunities and the threats facing the company. Sainsbury’s was founded in 1869. It is headquartered in London, the UK.

Strengths of Sainsbury’s

Sainsbury’s is one of the oldest supermarket chains in the UK. It was founded in London in 1869. It is also the 2nd largest supermarket chain in the UK with 15.9% market share (Kantar, 2020). There are more than 1400 Sainsbury’s grocery stores in the UK which employ more than 150,000 people. The company is also famous for the quality of its products.

Sainsbury’s has, over the years, moved from its core ranges (food and groceries) into areas such as clothing, finance, and energy. The company’s takeover of Argos has also increased diversity of its portfolio. Each Sainsbury’s store usually stocks around 30,000 product lines of which approximately 20% are ‘own-label’ ones.

Sainsbury’s has received a number of awards over the years. For instance, it was named the ‘Best Organic Supermarket of the Year’ in 2019 (Sainsbury’s, 2021). Likewise, it has won the Grocer 33 Availability Award and the Grocer 33 Customer Service Award a number of times in the last few years.

Weaknesses of Sainsbury’s

Many analysts argue that Sainsbury’s prices are higher than those offered for similar products by many of its competitors. This is a problem, particularly at a time of economic difficulties when many customers focus on saving money. However, in response to this criticism, others argue that quality comes with a high price.

Sainsbury’s image has been badly affected by a number of controversies such as price fixing, tax avoidance, and selling products past their use by date. Likewise, it was accused by Greenpeace of being the worst in class on cutting plastic packaging (The Grocer, 2019).


Opportunities for Sainsbury’s 

There are many opportunities for Sainsbury’s for domestic and international expansion. The company can further grow into the UK. Likewise, moving into EU and emerging markets such as China, India, Russia, Turkey, Brazil and others is also worth exploring. Some of these countries are in the list of top 10 largest countries in the world by population. Emerging countries also offer a plenty of labour at a low cost.

Threats to Sainsbury’s 

The last element in the SWOT analysis of Sainsbury’s is the threat/s facing the company. Like all other supermarket chains in the UK, Sainsbury’s faces the same threat i.e. fierce competition. There are a number of big players in the UK grocery market e.g. Tesco, ASDA, Morrison’s, Lidl, Aldi etc. Particularly, Aldi and Lidl are changing the rules of the game. These two discounters are providing customers with quality products at a low price.  This is certainly a great threat for Sainsbury’s.

We hope the article on the SWOT analysis of Sainsbury’s has been useful. You may also like reading SWOT analysis of Tesco. Other relevant articles for you are:

Marketing mix of Sainsbury’s

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Last update: 10 January 2021

Further reading/references

Kantar (2020) Great Britain: Grocery Market Share, available at: (accessed 10 January 2021)

Sainsbury’s (2021) About, available at: (accessed 10 January 2021)

The Grocer (2019) Greenpeace stands by criticism of Sainsbury’s on plastic packaging, available at: (accessed 10 January 2021)

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Author: Joe David

Joe David has years of teaching experience both in the UK and abroad. He writes regularly online on a variety of topics. He has a keen interest in business, hospitality, and tourism management. He holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Management Studies and a Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing Management.

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