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Sainsbury’s expands its digital and technology team as part of strategy to enable customers to shop as they like

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Sainsbury’s is expanding its digital and technology team as it works to enable shoppers to buy whenever and wherever they want.

The supermarket, a Leading retailer in InternetRetailing’s IRUK Top500 research, will over the next 18 months create 150 new jobs. They range from agile coaches and software developers to engineeers, and add to a digital and technology team that already numbers 900. The team runs, improves and creates digital platforms, websites and apps for use both by staff and by customers. The new team will be based at its Arndale Centre, Manchester hub. Over the past year, Sainsbury’s has already created 480 digital and technology jobs in centres in London and Coventry.

Sainsbury’s says building the team is part of its long-term strategy to make shopping easier for customers.

Jon Rudoe, digital and technology director, said: “The world is changing rapidly. Our vision is for Sainsbury’s to have a world-class digital and technology function to ensure that we can deliver great services for our customers whenever and wherever they want to shop with us.

“This announcement demonstrates our commitment to that goal, and to attracting the best talent in this ever-developing sector. As Manchester is the UK’s second largest technology hub, it’s a natural step for us to recruit there. It’s a great time to be working in retail. This fast-paced, exciting sector is giving rise to the most innovative practices.”

Commenting on the move, John Pincott, European MD at Kibo, said: “Sainsbury’s move to grow its digital team in order to better compete with online retailers could not have come at a better time for the supermarket giant. Research shows that 80% of consumers prefer to buy on-line and ship-to-home, with two-thirds less likely to buy from retailers unable to confirm product availability online and another third from retailers unable to offer click-and-collect. It is therefore without a doubt that today’s most competitive retailers are those that offer multichannel services and cater to the needs of the digitally demanding consumer.

“With the rise and popularity of services such as speedy delivery, click-and-collect and mobile points of commerce, the divide between online and offline retailing is not only blurring but is disappearing altogether. As such, in order to remain competitive and meet the expectations of today’s connected consumer, retailers must offer an integrated omnichannel strategy that delivers a seamless retail experience regardless of where or how consumers choose to shop. This is particularly critical for Sainsbury’s if they are to improve consumer loyalty and effectively compete with or seek to surpass Tesco and other online giants.”

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