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Sainsbury’s on track to multichannel customer experience, with full-year online sales up by 9%


Sainsbury’s chief executive Mike Coupe says it is well on track to delivering shoppers the multichannel experience that they want – and that its acquisition of Argos’ parent company Home Retail Group will further that strategy.

He said this week that the supermarket, a Leading retailer in the IRUK Top500 research, was making “good progress” against a strategy that puts selling to shoppers wherever and whenever they want. This sits alongside simpler pricing, and growth of non-food sales including general merchandise and clothing as the retailer’s key strategic priorities.

Coupe’s comments came as Sainsbury’s reported group sales of £23.5bn in the year to March 12, 1.1% down from £23.8bn at the same time last year. Statutory pre-tax profits came in at £548m, from a loss of £72m at the same time last year, but underlying profits of £587m were 13.8% down on the £681m reported last time.

Online grocery sales grew by nearly 9%, while order numbers rose by almost 15%. The supermarket says it will almost double its 101 click and collect grocery points to 200 by the end of the next financial year. Meanwhile, convenience sales grew by more than 9% to more than £2.3bn. During the year, the supermarket opened 69 of these smaller, more local stores.

“These results reflect the multi-product, multichannel shopping experience customers are looking for today, and our proposed acquisition of Home Retail Group will accelerate our strategy in this direction,” said Coupe.

He added: “The market is competitive and it will remain so for the foreseeable future. We believe we have the right strategy in place and are taking the right decisions to achieve our vision to be the most trusted retailer where people love to work and shop.”

Chairman David Tyler added: “Our strategy is built on the fundamental strengths of our business – great heritage, quality food, fair prices and strong values. It recognises that customers will increasingly shop through multiple channels and according to their varying needs. Our business will continue to evolve and adapt to changing shopping needs, ensuring that we exceed customer expectations in an increasingly fast-paced, digital world.”

Sainsbury’s said that it was using technology to gain a new understanding of its customers, through new customer insights and customer relationship management systems.

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