Sainsbury’s hits £1bn online sales milestone

Sainsbury’s has hit a £1 billion milestone in online grocery sales, just over a year after it announced plans to invest in its IT systems to improve its online platforms.

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Sainsbury’s has hit a £1 billion milestone in online grocery sales, just over a year after it announced plans to invest in its IT systems to improve its online platforms.

The supermarket chain revealed the progress of its online grocery business in its second quarter trading statement for the 16 weeks to 28 September 2013. 

Jon Rudoe, Sainsbury’s director of online, digital and cross-channel, said that hitting the £1 billion in annual sales in September was a “great testament” to the company’s staff and the customer service they provide.

He added: “We’re confident there is still a huge amount of potential for growth as our online grocery operation continues to complement our core supermarket business.”

To recognise staff contribution to the milestone achievement, all Sainsbury’s staff have received a temporary increase in their staff discount to 20 percent, the company said.

Sainsbury’s Online delivers over 10.5 million items to more than 190,000 customers every week, and sales have grown by more than 16 percent per year.

The company reported that total sales for the second quarter was up five percent from the first quarter, and up 2.1 percent compared with the same period last year.

Justin King, chief executive at Sainsbury’s, said: “We have delivered strong sales over the quarter, continuing to outperform the market in what remains a tough retail environment.

“We are the only major supermarket to be growing market share.”

Sainsbury’s first launched online grocery deliveries in 1999, and the online business employs more than 10,000 staff in-store or as drivers.

The supermarket has made a number of acquisitions in the online space in recent years, for example, in October 2011 it acquired online entertainment company Global Media Vault, and in June 2012 it acquired a majority stake in social network and retailer of ebooks Anobii.

In terms of investment in technology, Sainsbury’s launched an MP3 music download service in May 2012 and in October 2012 trialled Mobile Scan & Go, an application that allows customers to scan items as they shop using their iPhone or Android phone and pay without unloading their baskets at the till.

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