LONDON—Sainsbury’s will focus on larger footprint convenience stores that stock a wider range of locally targeted items and services in beauty, clothing, food, general merchandise and seasonal products as the supermarket and convenience chain moves to open over 75 new stores in the next three years, Talking Retail reports.
“We now have five of these stores open and trading,” the chain said. “They are very popular with customers and are delivering high returns. Reflecting our strategy to flex the size and format of our stores to suit local needs, we also opened one new ‘On the Go’ store in Leicester Square in London this year.”
Sainsbury’s annual results for the 52 weeks ended March 6 saw the retailer register a loss, even though grocery sales jumped 7.8% and digital sales rose 102%. The retailer had its highest sales for Valentine’s Day, Shrove Tuesday, Easter and Mother’s Day (which was celebrated on March 14 in Britain). The company also pledged to speed its innovative product development pipeline by tripling the number of new products and bringing them to market 30% faster.
“This year’s financial results have been heavily influenced by the pandemic. Food and Argos store sales are significantly higher, but the cost of keeping colleagues and customers safe during the pandemic has been high,” said Simon Roberts, CEO of J Sainsbury. “Like our customers, we are all looking forward to things feeling more normal over the coming months and [are] getting excited about a summer of celebration, but we are also cautious about the economic outlook. While there is much that we cannot predict in the year ahead, we are absolutely focused on delivering for our customers and shareholders.”
James Andrews, personal finance expert at money.co.uk, pointed out that “with fuel sales expected to be on the rise again too, we can expect continued strong performance—but competition from the likes of Aldi and Lidl hasn’t gone away. The following year for the industry will definitely be one to watch to see how the company reacts to society opening up, as well as how effective new price-matching schemes will be.”
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