Can Danish discounter Netto save Sainsbury's bacon?

The Scandi supermarket returns to the UK with a joint venture and its first new store.

by Jack Torrance
Credit: Netto
Credit: Netto

Britain has developed an appetite for all things Scandinavian over the last few years. Many of us have been gripped by Danish TV drama the Killing and Sweden's Girl with the Dragon Tattoo books, while IKEA has long been a staple brand in British homes. Sainsbury’s is hoping to tap into this as it brings Danish discount supermarket Netto back to Britain.

British supermarkets have been feeling the squeeze lately as German discounters Aldi and Lidl have scraped together a combined market share of more than 8% and they're still growing fast. Researchers expect discounters' sales to double to £20bn in the next five years. Teaming up with Netto’s parent company Danske Supermarked for a 50:50 joint venture, Sainsbury’s kicked off a bid to take back some of that market today.

Like its German rivals, Netto will have a much smaller range than the big four supermarkets and will offer short-term ‘spot deals’ such as £5.50 bottles of Prosecco and a two-pack of sirloin steaks for £3.69. Its range is specifically designed for British palettes but will also have a Danish flavour, including 39p pastries, curried herring and Lego.

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