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

National account managers should be negotiators, not salesmen

By David Sables / November 13, 2015

If your sales team struggles with the difference between selling and negotiation, here is an illustration for them. You will have witnessed the travesty that is the estate agent. While selling they try their best to match your property to the needs of a buyer. Solid. Once there is interest and the price negotiation begins, these guys forget who they represent, who pays them, ie the vendor. Their role in... Read More

Innovation - it's not just down to brands to be responsible

By David Sables / October 16, 2015

It’s such a great time to be involved in grocery, don’t you think? There’s so much going on. To quote IGD chief executive Joanne Denney-Finch: “What excites me the most is every type of company, new and old, large and small, has the chance to win from their current positions.” I couldn’t agree more. However, she also said, on bolder innovations from brands: “The pressure keeps mounting on the manufacturers... Read More

Deal with discounters at a level you can sustain even if you double or treble sales

By David Sables / September 21, 2015

The discounter freight train has got up a head of steam and is cruising past the competition to record shares. Supermarket volumes last month fell year on year for the first time since 2014 and we also have underlying deflation in retail prices. All of the top four lost market share during the past 12-week reporting period, with soft discounters Asda and Morrisons hit worst. Meanwhile, Aldi is up 22.6%... Read More

Promotion planning - make them relevant to shopper needs

By David Sables / August 21, 2015

Selling in grocery is not just selling a product or a promotion - it includes selling a plan and sometimes a vision. In some categories and customers there has been an overnight change in buyer style to one of collaboration, which has stumped and mystified some suppliers, as they’d grown used to surviving the transactional game. Actually, it just proves what an act all the tough stuff is. It’s a... Read More

GSCOP press coverage is essential - shoppers have a right to know

By David Sables / July 02, 2015

The YouGov survey this week reported improvement across the board on retailer collaborative measures versus one year ago. The GCA team is delighted with the gradual progress, recognising there is still a lot to do and that we must not take our foot off the gas. Do remember though that across the same year a major event has rocked this whole arena. The Tesco scandal was so widely covered that... Read More

Is GSCOP working for you? Action required - tell me all about it!

By David Sables / June 29, 2015

In the late 1990s, changes in EU and UK competition law demanded that suppliers stopped influencing or dictating retail pricing. When a buyer moaned about the margin on products, the supplier response changed to an awkward dialogue for a while: “Err I’m sure you’re not errr suggesting that I should express influence over your retail price coz that’s errr….” Yet now everyone gets it - suppliers know how to handle... Read More

Waitrose trials 'Pick Your Own Offers' scheme in bid to boost myWaitrose card

By David Sables / May 08, 2015

Waitrose is planning a bold makeover of its loyalty card scheme by allowing consumers to choose which products they receive promotional offers on. The ‘Pick Your Own Offers’ scheme, which is currently being trialled at five Waitrose stores, will give shoppers armed with a myWaitrose card a long list of branded and own-label products to select their favourite 10 items from. They will then receive 20% off each of those products... Read More

Discounters - it's time fmcg suppliers got real. But they need help from retailers

By David Sables / May 02, 2015

OK, so are we are all agreed discounter share growth holds risks for UK consumers and suppliers as well as the obvious threat to retailers? Shoppers walk their way blindly into a world of low choice and suspect imports, while suppliers feel the knock-on effect of the price wars with a doubling of those in significant financial distress, not to mention the scandalous brand rip-offs. It’s not going to stop... Read More

David Sables Question To Alex Simpson - Westminster Food & Nutrition Forum Keynote Seminar

By David Sables / April 13, 2015

Our CEO David Sables attended the Westminter Food & Nutrition Forum Keynote Seminar and had the opportunity to speak with Alex Simpson. Transcript Lord Cameron of Dillington Yes, any questions from the floor. David Sables: Sentinel Management Consultants. We help suppliers to be some of the few who manage to cope under the pressure from the buyers and one of the major challenges that Christine Tacon has is suppliers not... Read More

Adjudicator Christine Tacon issues second survey to nail 'notorious' buyers

By Ian Quinn / March 20, 2015

Adjudicator Christine Tacon is to call on thousands of suppliers to help her root out “notorious” buyers who have been systematically breaching the Groceries Code. On Monday, Tacon will start contacting an estimated 8,000 suppliers asking them to take part in a YouGov survey on their relationship with retailers and urging them to point the finger at individual buying teams. A previous survey last year was hit by poor uptake... Read More