In The News

David Sables, CEO, and the Sentinel Team appear regularly on and in various media, commentating and giving insight on industry issues. David is a regular columnist within ‘the Grocer’ magazine, as well as being a contributor to Forbes.

For press enquiries, please contact our UK office. call: +44 (0) 1753 867979 or email

Supplier sales teams lack the expertise to thrive in an omnichannel world

By David Sables / March 08, 2021

The concept of omnichannel has grown like a weed over the past five years. Although it presents the latest set of expertise to make a supplier indispensable to its customers, it’s also potentially the biggest key account manager communication fail since category management. Brought about by the step-change in customer behaviour that came with the widespread rollout of broadband, omnichannel enables a brand to engage every ‘touchpoint’ of the shopper... Read More

How Mark White’s legal background will influence his work with GSCOP

By David Sables / February 08, 2021

We’ve had a period of good behaviour as record returns in Covid have put smiles on the faces of the major retailers. So GSCOP may not be top of mind – but, as retailers start to chase growth on top of their phoney year whilst leaking sales to hospitality, the fun will recommence. Get ready for the sound of: “You saved a fortune due to our growth, so cough up.”... Read More

Why Morrisons, Iceland and Lidl led the way in a Christmas like no other

By David Sables / January 11, 2021

Nothing normal about this Christmas, was there? Given the impact of Covid and Brexit, it’s not easy to read the true performance indicators for 2021, but here goes. Starting with the punchline: Morrisons and Iceland shared the prize with sustained campaigns consistently delivering across the four-week and 12-week Kantar share performances. They stood out in a festive season that saw spend increase across all the supermarkets. Remember total grocery multiples... Read More

Aldi comes out the winner in Tesco’s Price Match, but it must catch up in online

By David Sables / October 07, 2020

They say there’s no such thing as bad publicity. Take Tesco’s Aldi Price Match. While Tesco appears to be taking aim at the discounter, it’s actually doing Aldi a big favour. Big four shoppers keep hearing ‘Aldi price’ and those who don’t have a nearby Tesco will head to Aldi to take a look. It’s almost the opposite of the Pepsi taste test. That worked for Pepsi because they were... Read More

Businesses can’t passively accept a ‘new normal’ – they must define it

By David Sables / June 17, 2020

The most overused, inappropriate and meaningless term of the moment has to be ‘the new normal’. Not just because it assumes that a normal state of play currently exists, but, dangerously, because it assumes a passive acceptance of the situation businesses have to ‘fit in with’. ‘Normal’ suggests some level of equilibrium. There isn’t one: it’s a moving feast. Nothing is typical, nothing is usual, nothing is conforming to a... Read More

EDLP is the right strategy, but retailers and suppliers are stuck on big promotions

By David Sables / May 28, 2020

Covid-19 crisis pricing is an interesting one. Particularly savvy shoppers have noticed their normal basket jump as much as 25% – not because prices have gone up, but due to the lack of their beloved promotions. It’s logical that during crisis shopping, price promotions need to be dropped to ease the burden of surges on promoted lines. However, price cuts and multibuys define the retailing model of the major chains,... Read More

Coronavirus will complicate next year’s trade negotiations with retailers. Start planning now

By David Sables / April 22, 2020

Annual business plans are always the area which bring out the worst in wholesale and retail customers. When they have not achieved volume or revenue thresholds, they want the bonus anyway and often scupper next year’s discussions to get it. It’s the assault that keeps on mugging. This year, the virus has brought a whole new set of dynamics. Six months before many are even thinking about next year’s plans,... Read More

We need a co-ordinated approach to food supply, with support for small suppliers

By David Sables / March 24, 2020

Supermarket buyers pressurise suppliers to give their increased orders priority. How is that different from the much-maligned shopper panic buying in-store? If they succeed, the smaller retailers not receiving stock become the equivalent of the elderly lady or NHS nurse who is losing out in-store now. Panic buying exists. It’s human nature, as was mapped out beautifully by Maslow back in 1954. Take another look at that motivation pyramid. The... Read More

Don’t ‘take care of number one’ in Brexit planning. Industry must pull together

By David Sables / February 25, 2020

It’s March 2020 already, so way too late for new year’s resolutions, but here’s a prediction instead. For the balance of the year trade bodies, industry leaders, banks, international business, journalists and major retailers will moan and gripe about EU trade deal uncertainty. Adjust your filters, ignore the noise, it will change nothing. Many retailers entered the year bruised, with their market shares in steady decline. Not a freefall, more... Read More

It’s retailer crunch time - who are this year’s Christmas crackers?

By David Sables / December 11, 2019

It is true that a decent Easter and strong summer can provide some ballast for the annual numbers, but the Christmas season is the ‘make or break’ period for a grocer’s year. Ultimately, it sets the heartbeat for the January trading statements, which are the most important of the year and no retailer can afford to get it wrong. So TV ads aren’t just a bit of fun. They need... Read More