Blog: Smooth performance belies discontent on streets

Sam Webb | 10 November 2011

Yesterday (9 November) I went down to London to see the King. No, there hasn't been an accession you didn't know about, I mean Justin King, the chief executive of Sainsbury's.

just-food was invited to a press conference for the supermarket chain's first-half profits, which revealed rising sales and profits.

It was the first time I'd been to 33 Holborn, the London HQ of Sainsbury's, a monolithic glass structure on the edge of the City of London's "Square Mile", and my first visit was made all the more interesting by the hi-vis jacketed police lining the streets in preparation for thousands of students marching through London to protest cuts in university funding.

Thankfully the violence that marred a series of student protests last year was largely absent, as was the projected travel chaos the demo would cause - a good thing when you have to get a train back to Coventry.

At the press conference the assembled journos got the chance to grill senior management on the year so far and find out what Sainsbury's have got planned for the future. We also got a sneak preview of the Christmas TV advertising, which involves panto characters and celebrity chef Jamie Oliver. I think that's pretty much all I'm allowed to say before it launches next week.

For more information check out our on the money feature about Sainsbury's results.


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