Sainsbury's Asda - The Musical!

The CEO of Sainsbury’s cringe moment on ITV News has gone viral. Caught with his microphone turned on before his interview on the proposed merger between Sainsbury’s and Asda, Mike Coupe began singing ‘We’re In The Money’ from the musical 42nd Street. It got me thinking about other appropriate tunes to bring this front-page story to life on stage.


Hakuna Matata – The Lion King

No worries? That’s not so for Sainsbury’s and Asda employees. Although both sides have assured their colleagues that no store jobs will be lost, Conservative MP Mark Menzies, who used to work at Asda head office, is convinced that some stores will be closed and redundancies will happen. There are 75 Asda & Sainsbury’s stores in the same postcodes, excluding Locals, which are arguably competing unnecessarily. Cost efficiencies (apparently worth £500m) are bound to hit head office jobs, with many functions duplicating work.

Food, glorious food! – Oliver

So much food in so many stores. 2,800 of them, to be precise, if you include Argos sites in the number. That’s a lot of sausages, mustard, cold jelly and custard. It also means a lot more scale in clothing and general merchandise given Sainsbury’s now own Argos, and the phenomenal success of Asda’s clothing proposition George.

A Whole New World - Aladdin

Aside from the Qatar Investment Authority holding the most shares in Sainsbury’s, there are more Arabian allusions to be had. This really is a whole new world for shoppers, for suppliers, for the Big 4 and for the discounters. The merger means that the new Sasda/Ainsbury’s brand would have the largest share of all the grocers (31%) and would have the optimal geographical spread.

You & Me (But Mostly Me) – The Book Of Mormon

Mike is going to be running the new business if it gets the go-ahead. Roger Burnley has been less visible in the headlines. What next for the Asda boss?

The Point Of No Return – The Phantom of the Opera

The CMA will be all over this, but given the Tesco/Booker deal and the Co-op/Nisa buyout the merger does look likely. The business would have a combined turnover of £50bn and a market share north of 30%. This impact on buying power worries Mike Cherry, Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, who sees a risk of smaller companies “being put over a barrel by a giant company too big to stand up to”. The Groceries Code Adjudicator will also be involved. Though the deal should be completed by H2 2019, we don’t yet seem past the point of no return.

New York, New York! – On The Town

Asda's US parent company Walmart trades on the NYSE, and opened at $88.89 - up 2% on Friday's closing share price. If the deal went ahead they would own 42% of the business and would get £2.97bn in the deal. There were such high hopes when Walmart bought the Yorkshire brand from Kingfisher back in 1999, but in reality they have sold it for a meagre £584m more than they paid for it 19 years ago. Is Walmart jetting back to The Big Apple/Arkansas with its tail between its legs? Start spreading the news Walmart; you’re not leaving today, but you will be leaving pretty soon. 

Have you got any other suggestions? Take them to the stage!


By Georgia Hartley-Brewer - Retail 

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