We shop fairly regularly at Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda, Lidl, Aldi and the Co-op but prefer Tesco even though Sainsbury’s is much nearer. We try M&S occasionally and very rarely Waitrose because there isn’t one nearby.
So where is Sainsbury/Asda going? To my lowly shopper’s eye Sainsbury’s does not seem to know what it is supposed to be. For our general requirements it is neither as cheap as Tesco nor conspicuously middle class in the manner of Waitrose and M&S. The days when Sainsbury's was definitely middle class seem to have gone. Now it is just another supermarket chain and not a particularly appealing one at that.
Our local Asda is grim. Fairly cheap but not as cheap as it pretends and with a strong flavour of tabloid values it isn’t a pleasant place to be. When we visit Asda we know what we want, we buy it and we leave. That’s it.
No doubt retail bods have crawled all over the deal and pronounced it a Good Thing, but it feels a little desperate to me. Pulling the two supermarkets together while the world changes, while Aldi and Lidl continue to make inroads and Amazon lurks on the horizon. If it is done it needs to be done quickly and well.