Sainsbury’s pushes ahead with Argos digital store plan

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Sainsbury’s has now opened 22 Argos digital stores and is on track with its plan to open 30 digital stores and create a further 30 Argos digital collection points in its supermarkets by Christmas, the retailer said in its first half results.

These will form part of a rollout of 200 new digital collection points where customers can collect Tu clothing, eBay and DPD parcels.

Argos concession in Sainsbury's supermarket.

Argos concession in Sainsbury’s supermarket.

The retailer is on track to deliver its three-year £500 million cost saving programme by the end of 2017/18. It also expects to deliver £500 million of cost savings over three years from 2018/19.

Convenience sales grew by over six per cent and the business contributed around £2.4 billion of annualised sales. Sainsbury’s opened 16 new convenience stores and are trialling six Sainsbury’s Locals in a franchise partnership with Euro Garages in service stations.

Groceries Online grew eight per cent and contributed around £1.3 billion of annualised sales. Chief executive Mike Coupe pointed out that to meet growing demand for home delivery groceries in London, it opened a new online fulfilment centre.

Underlying group sales rose 2.1 per cent to £13.9 billion for the first half, but underlying pre-tax profit was down ten per cent at £277m. Coupe said Sainsbury’s had achieved like for like transaction growth across all its channels.

“The acquisition of HRG accelerates our strategy to give customers choice, convenience, speed and flexibility in when, where and how they shop,” said Coupe. “Food will always be at our heart and we are strengthening our Clothing, General Merchandise and Financial Services offers to realise the potential of the Group. The combination of our products, services, customer data and fast delivery networks gives us a strong platform for growth and enables us to deliver clear synergies.”

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