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Sainsbury’s starts roll-out of click and collect

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Sainsbury’s is rolling out its click and collect grocery service quickly as it looks to be up and running in 100 stores by the end of the year.

The service, first launched on the London Underground last summer, debuted in three of the supermarket’s stores this week, starting with its Water Lane, Farnham, Surrey branch. Sainsbury’s aims to offer the service in 20 stores by the end of this month.

Customers shopping in relevant areas will be given a click and collect option, alongside home delivery slots, when they buy their groceries online. They’ll pick up from a refrigerated van parked in the store car park, staffed by a store assistant.

The service will operate Monday to Saturday from 8am to 1pm and 2pm to 8pm, and will be available in store opening hours on Sundays. Those spending at least £20 can use it for free and orders can be placed up to 20 days in advance.

Next-day collection will be available for orders placed up to 11pm.

“This is yet another step for Sainsbury’s increasingly popular online service and a demonstration of our commitment to giving our customers more convenient ways to shop with us, wherever and whenever they want,” said Sainsbury’s online director Robbie Feather.

Sainsbury’s currently turns over £1bn from its 18-year old business. That’s equivalent to 5% of sales. It is set to open its first dark store, dedicated to fulfilling online orders, in Bromley-by-Bow in 2016.

Our view: Sainsbury’s looks like it’s trying to catch up quickly with competitor supermarkets in rolling out grocery click and collect. Asda and Tesco are well advanced in the roll out of their own food pick-up services. It’s worth noting that the website has recently had its IT systems upgraded – perhaps this has made the new service possible. Certainly it looks like such services will be vital both in increasing the proportion of sales that come from online retailing and in differentiating multichannel supermarkets from their online-only competitors, such as Ocado.

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