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Customers can now order takeaway pizzas from Sainsbury’s – but analyst questions the long-term strategy

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Customers can now order takeaway pizzas via Deliveroo as part of the supermarket’s strategy to enable shoppers to buy wherever, whenever and however they want. But one analyst has warned that the move may not work long term. 

Sainsbury’s this week teamed up with Deliveroo to launch pizza deliveries from five of its branches – in Cambridge, Selly Oak, West Hove, Pimlico and Hornsey. The move enables Sainsbury’s to use digital technologies to improve the customer experience. Sainsbury’s pizza counters will stay open late to meet late night demand – and the supermarket will look at whether there is an appetite both for this service and for ordering other takeaway food from its counters.

“With more and more shoppers looking for convenient and affordable meals delivered to their doors, our trial with Deliveroo brings our great value hot food direct to customers’ homes,” says Clodagh Moriarty, chief digital officer at Sainsbury’s Group. “We’re committed to making it as quick and easy as possible for our customers to shop with us, and we’ll be listening to their feedback throughout the trial to understand how we can best serve their hot food delivery needs. We’re excited to see what our customers think before deciding if, how and where we go next with the offer.”

Justin Landsberger, commercial director at Deliveroo, said: “We’re excited to launch Sainsbury’s on Deliveroo and bring even more choice to our customers around the UK. At Deliveroo we pride ourselves on providing customers with an excellent selection of food options, catering for every occasion and this new partnership with allow us to do that.”

The new service comes soon after Asda launched a pizza delivery partnership with Just Eat.

But retail analyst Thomas Brereton, of data and analytics business GlobalData, says that grocers must beware working too closely with takeaway delivery companies. While there are short term benefits to gaining a foothold in the market that could potentially extend to food and grocery fulfilment for smaller orders, there are also complicating factors, he says. 

“Ceding control over the last mile has its complications,” said Brereton. “Customer care sits at the core of Sainsbury’s business strategy, but this partnership puts the most customer-facing side of delivery in the hands of an external organisation. Moreover, ecommerce giant Amazon recently invested £460m in Deliveroo, and if the deal progresses it may cause a problematic scenario at Sainsbury’s in which it is over-reliant on a competitor. 

“If Amazon decides to significantly increase its presence in the UK food and grocery market, supermarket partnerships with certain foodservice operators are likely to be reviewed and possibly removed.”

Sainsbury’s and Amazon are both Elite retailers in IRUK Top500 research, while Asda is a Top50 trader.

Image courtesy of Sainsbury’s

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