Suppliers can and should negotiate Sainsbury’s fees

Suppliers can and should negotiate Sainsbury's fees

Data is something retailers have been attempting to charge for, or even just keep a secret, forever (‘Sainsbury’s forecast data fees: shades of Tesco’s fulfilment fee fiasco?’,, 31 May). I do respect the pushback because now is the time to get a mass objection from suppliers.

Ultimately, though, suppliers need to push these data fees into the negotiable box like everything else. The best negotiators will get the best or free access in the end.

Spend any time working with French grocers and you will understand the huge risk Sainsbury’s is taking by aggressively ‘selling’ its data to suppliers. The availability of data, and the need for suppliers to buy it, has become a ‘commercial tax’ on the relationship between the two parties in France. French grocers routinely charge suppliers huge, unjustifiable sums of money for the provision of data.

This would be fine if the data was presented in a way that easily allowed suppliers to make fast and effective decisions to serve their shoppers more efficiently.

However, in effect, suppliers are being charged a fee for a ‘data dump’, much of which will never be used.

Most suppliers in the UK will be well aware of the need to have the most up-to-date data and insight to play their ‘best game’ with retailers.

However, there is a fine line between being asked to buy data that can increase sales, and simply being instructed to purchase data that may or may not be valuable.

Coming as it does at a time when Sainsbury’s is encouraging suppliers to invest in its retail media services, it is highly likely many suppliers (even the big ones) will decide to ‘pass on’ the data purchase opportunity.

For many, the business case will be invisible or not strong enough, and for others it’s another ‘commercial tax’ that risks the slippery slope of a French-style repeat of ROI.

David Sables, CEO, Sentinel Management Consultants

Source: The Grocer
Image Editorial credit: D K Grove /

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