Britain’s legendary supermarkets, like Sainsbury’s and Tesco have had a “truly awful year, ” according to the Telegraph, and are sitting on copious acres of land it may be unprofitable for them to develop. It is estimated that these supermarkets are sitting on 1, 000 acres of land and are developing just 6 percent of their land assets. It just isn’t worth it to build and open new stores when sales at existing sales are so poor, and Sainsbury’s and Tesco continue to bleed market share to discount food chains.
Building of new stores has fallen 20% since last year. The supermarkets are facing criticism for just letting the land remain undeveloped when it can be used for homes, but unloading real estate assets would mean billions of pounds in writedowns. Tesco is expected to report a 5% decline in sales while Sainsbury’s is likely to have seen a 3%. The holidays capped off a dismal year for these supermarket chains.
Sainsbury’s has been around such a long time, it is hard to think it will ever go away. John Benjamin Sainsbury was born in 1871 and founded the supermarket chain. He married Dutch Jewish heiress Mabel Van Den Bergh, and there sons, Alan and Robert Sainsbury, ran the family business