The majority of suppliers believe availability, in-store implementation and customer service at UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s will improve, according to a new report.

IGD’s latest report, Sainsbury’s – The Implications of Change, reveals that almost half of the 170 suppliers surveyed expect their turnover and volumes to increase with Sainsbury’s this year.

Over the next three years 65% of suppliers believe in-store implementation will improve, 76% believe availability will improve and 59% believe customer service will improve.

“These findings are encouraging for Sainsbury’s and indicative of supplier support for the new strategy announced by Justin King in October. The commitment to invest in the customer offer rather than in infrastructure has clearly struck a chord,” said food and grocery think tank IGD.

Suppliers are committed to Sainsbury’s with 50% of those surveyed planning to devote more management resource to the Sainsbury’s account in the coming year. However, suppliers also highlighted some challenges still facing Sainsbury’s, with 44% believing their market share will decline.

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“The UK food retail market remains intensely competitive and Sainsbury’s will have to perform outstandingly well to meet its recovery targets.  It will be encouraging for the management team that suppliers are behind the new strategy.  However, this Christmas will prove a critical time for the business as it seeks to re-establish its standing with customers.  The removal of store wastage targets and the focus on availability will be key in a drive to delight customers once again,” said IGD chief executive Joanne Denney-Finch.