Close this search box.

Multichannel convenience gives Sainsbury’s a boost

This is an archived article - we have removed images and other assets but have left the text unchanged for your reference

Giving customers convenient ways to buy boosted Sainsbury’s sales in its latest financial year. Despite this, the supermarket’s like-for-like sales growth remained subdued.

The supermarket said that changes in consumer behaviour were now “entrenched, with increasing savvy shoppers shoping more frequently, topping up their supermarket and online shop in convenience stores and discounters throughout the week to manage their budget and food waste.”

Sainsbury’s saw that trend reflected in its business, where convenience store sales grew by about 19%, in the year to March 15, while online grocery sales rose by more than 12% to pass the £1bn annual sales milestone. But across the business, sales rose by a more modest 2.7%, excluding fuel but including VAT, and like-for-like sales by just 0.2%. Pre-tax profits rose by 16.3% to £898m but pre-tax profits before exceptional items, which included credits relating to historic VAT overpayments and the closure of Sainsbury’s defined benefit pension scheme to new money, were up by a more modest 5.3% at £798m.

Developing such convenient ways of shopping were part of a long-term strategy for growth – and loyalty, said the supermarket statement.

“The trend continues for customers to shop across a range of channels – supermarkets, convenience stores and online, from home and on the go,” it said. “Helping people shop where, when and how they want, across all channels, is a key driver of loyalty, and where customers shop all three channels their total spend is more than double the average of a supermarket-only shopper.”

Over the last year the company opened 91 convenience stores, taking its total number to more than 600 which, it said, now account for a third of Britain’s convenience market growth.

Improvements to its website included improvements in product search and improved recipes and ideas, a new mobile website, “a strategic platform on which to build new functionality in future years.” During the last year, said the supermarket, it had delivered to more than 190,000 customers a week, with 30,000 online customers now having bought its online delivery pass since it was launched in November. The company plans to launch a dedicated online fulfillment “within the next few years” in Bromley-by-Bow to meet demand in London adnd the South East. That will enable it to serve an extra 20,00 online customers a week.

Sainsbury’s also said that more than half the customers ordering from its general merchandise website collected their orders in-store via Click & Collect, now available in more than 1,000 stores.

Presenting his final full-year results as chief executive, Justin King said: “We remain committed to investing for the future and continue to see significant opportunities for growth. We remain confident that our differentiated offer, supported by the value of values, Nectar data and brandmatch will allow us to outperform our peers in the year ahead.”

Read More

Register for Newsletter

Group 4 Copy 3Created with Sketch.

Receive 3 newsletters per week

Group 3Created with Sketch.

Gain access to all Top500 research

Group 4Created with Sketch.

Personalise your experience on