March 21, 2018 / 8:39 AM / 4 months ago

Sainsbury's to invest 150 mln stg in price cuts

LONDON, March 21 (Reuters) - Sainsbury’s, Britain’s no.2 supermarket chain, said it was investing 150 million pounds ($211 million) to fund price cuts, seeking to better compete with fast-growing discounters at a time when UK grocery inflation remains high.

Sainsbury’s said on Wednesday it would cut prices on 930 products including cereals, vegetables, meat, cheese, pasta and ready meals.

Britain’s four big supermarket chains, Sainsbury’s plus top player Tesco, Asda and Morrisons, have in recent years lost market share to German discounters Aldi and Lidl, both of which are expanding aggressively.

Sainsbury’s price cuts will also help attract shoppers who are being squeezed by a rise in inflation since the Brexit vote in 2016.

“These low prices now give customers more reasons to visit our stores,” Sainsbury’s Chief Executive Mike Coupe said in a statement.

Market researcher Kantar Worldpanel said this month that grocery inflation stood at 2.9 percent in the 12 weeks to Feb. 28, down from 3.6 percent in its last report.

Prices are rising fastest in markets such as butter, fresh fish and fresh pork and are falling in only a few markets, including cooking sauces and laundry detergents.

$1 = 0.7124 pounds Reporting by Sarah Young; editing by Jason Neely

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