Investment in the Argos delivery network means the retailer can now deliver to over 90 per cent of UK postcodes within four hours as well as offering immediate in-store collection, parent company Sainsbury’s said in its annual results.
Sainsbury’s, which has just had its bid for Asda rejected by the regulator, said about 60 per cent of Argos sales now start online – more than £3 billion a year as sales generated through mobile devices have now passed £2 billion.
Sales through the Fast Track delivery service increased by 13 per cent and Fast Track Click & Collect by ten per cent. It opened a regional fulfilment centre in Croydon last year to improve service to 3.4 million households across London and the South East. It can now deliver the full range the same day to over half the country.
Sainsbury’s saw its operating profit for the year the 9th March fall to £312 million from £518m in 2018, sales were up by £551m to £29bn. Non-underlying items accounted for £396m including £46m in costs from the failed Asda bid.
Sainsbury’s chief executive Mike Coupe said: “We completed the integration of Argos that we set out in 2016, delivering £160 million in synergies ahead of schedule. We completed a major transformation of how we run Sainsbury’s stores and have made significant improvements to store standards in recent months, which remain a focus.”
Looking ahead, Coupe said: “We will increase and accelerate investment in the core business, investing to improve over 400 supermarkets this year. £4.7 billion of our revenue now comes from our online businesses and we are increasing investment in technology to make shopping across Sainsbury’s, Argos and Sainsbury’s Bank as quick and convenient as possible. We will also continue to strengthen our balance sheet and are making a new commitment to reduce net debt by at least £600 million over the next three years.”