January 8, 2020 / 8:53 AM / 7 months ago

No change in shopper behavior after UK election: Sainsbury's CEO

FILE PHOTO: Mike Coupe, CEO of Sainsbury's, poses for a portrait at the company headquarters in London, Britain, May 1, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville

LONDON (Reuters) - Sainsbury’s (SBRY.L), Britain’s second largest supermarket, did not experience any change in shoppers’ behavior after the Dec. 12 national election, its boss said on Wednesday.

Following a year of political instability and uncertainty over Brexit, retailers had hoped the election’s decisive result - a commanding parliamentary majority for Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservatives - would release pent-up demand from the nation’s shoppers.

“In our business we didn’t see any material change in customers’ behavior post the election,” Chief Executive Mike Coupe told reporters after Sainsbury’s updated on festive trading.

“I suspect there won’t be any significant change in customers’ behavior until we get some line of sight on what the (March 11 government) Budget looks like and how the Brexit settlement works out,” he said.

Reporting by James Davey, Editing by Paul Sandle

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