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Sainsbury’s online grocery business the ‘fastest-growing in the UK’

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Sainsbury’s says its online food business is the fastest-growing in the UK market. The £0.8bn business is growing by 20% a year, delivering more than 165,000 orders a week, the supermarket said this week as it released its full-year results.

That, said Sainsbury’s, put it second in the market and made it: “the fastest-growing major online grocery business in the UK.” It said: “Our customer surveys show that quality of service, quality of food and ease of shop all play a part in this success.”

Besides its online grocery sales, Sainsbury’s now offers more than 6,000 products through its general merchandise website. Half of all its sales involve the use of Click & Collect, now available in more than 900 of its stores. Over Christmas some 75% of online general merchandise purchases were collected from the store.

The update came as Sainsbury’s unveiled total sales of £22.3bn in the year to March 17, a 5.6% rise compared to the previous year. Like-for-like sales rose by 2.1%, excluding fuel.

Underlying pre-tax profits rose by 7.1% to £712m, but at the bottom line pre-tax profits fell by 3.4% to £799m. The supermarket said it now had 16.6% of the market, its highest share for almost 10 years.

Chief executive Justin King said: “We are succeeding by understanding what our customers want.”

That, he said, included an emphasis on fresh and ethically sourced foods, competitive prices as well as helping customer to buy in the most convenient way, whether online, at a large supermarket or a smaller convenience store.

He added: “We have continued to invest in the future of the business, including opening a further 1.4m sq ft of gross space, whilst managing costs and increasing net underlying margins.

“Whilst the wider economic situation remains uncertain, we remain confident that our clear strategy, market insight and strong values will enable us to make further progress both in our core food and non-food businesses, as well as new channels and services in the year ahead.”


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