The UK media is an interesting animal. Some of the best journalists in the world work here, especially in the better newspapers and news magazines. The opinion pieces are often masterpieces of insight and analysis, as well as being written in provocative prose. But the 24 hour news channels and the tabloid-type “rag” newspapers tend to be hysterical and/or doom-and-gloom focused.
A good example is the daily coverage at the moment of the companies that are either going bust or laying off staff. Of course, these are important stories to cover as they reflect the current state of the economy. But, on a day when Nissan announced over 1,000 layoffs and the day after M&S announced a 1,200 layoffs and 27 store closures, you’d expect these stories to be trumped by the news that Sainbury’s was actually employing 5,000 people and were planning to open 6 new shops.
But this news seems to have mysteriously evaded the 24 hour news channels.
If you didn’t hear it, the supermarket chain, Sainsbury’s, announced yesterday that they had enjoyed their “best ever Christmas”, employing 21,000 temporary staff (just less than double what they had forecast they would need). 2,000 of these people had been given full-time employment after the Christmas period, and a further 3,000 jobs were being advertised. Six new stores were planned for opening soon (maybe in old Woolworths locations?).
The CEO said simply, “This shows that businesses that are focusing on doing a good job for customers can continue to thrive whatever the circumstances.” That’s absolutely true. Customers are not looking for the cheapest option during the downturn, but they are looking for the safest option – the option that gives them the best value for money, and is guaranteed to deliver what they requested.
This is a lesson for everyone in every industry.