UK: Sainsbury's profits slump
Profits at UK supermarket chain Sainsbury's have slumped by nearly a quarter, in yet another setback to the firm's fight to keep up with rivals Tesco and Asda. All attention is now on Sainsbury's new chief executive, Sir Peter Davis. He hopes that a fresh strategy with a strong streak of e-commerce can revive the grocery chain, which has been perceived as being less innovative than its competiters. Sir Peter is betting on further expansion, promising to create 5,000 jobs this year alone. The jobs will be created both through the construction of 13 new stores and the build up of the group's e-commerce activities, Sir Peter said. Hoping to mimic Tesco's success, Sir Peter wants to speed up the roll-out of Sainsbury's internet-based home shopping services, dubbed "Sainsbury's To You". The service is currently available from nine stores only, but will be expanded to cover 60% of customers by the end of this year. The retailer also wants to set up a new food and drink web portal called Taste For Life, to be launched in June. The competition will not be fought over prices, though. Sir Peter said Sainsbury's would "always be price competitive", but would not enter into a price war.
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