Blog: Dean BestSainsbury's touts online credentials

Dean Best | 12 March 2012

Amid all the talk of the potential for online retail in the UK and the noises of further investment coming from its rivals, Sainsbury's has touted its credentials in the channel.

Tesco, which accounts for almost half of all grocery sales online, has signalled plans to invest in its food and non-food operations in the channel.

Waitrose MD Mark Price told just-food last week the upmarket grocer, despite teething problems with its relaunched website last year, was seeing sales grow at 30%, had great potential in the online sector and was planning further investment in 2012.

Yesterday (11 March), Sainsbury's issued a press release to claim that it was now the UK's second-largest online food retailer. The company said it was now seeing over 165,000 orders made through its website, which, it added, was generating annualised sales of over GBP750m.

The retailer, however, indicated that it would continue to push its online business. "We're proud of our successes so far, but it doesn't stop here, we've got ambitious growth targets which we'll reach by continuing to deliver the best possible experience for our loyal and new customers," Sainsbury's online director Jon Rudoe said.

One major UK retailer, however, is more sceptical about the online channel. Morrisons is the only retailer out of the country's Big Four multiples not to sell food online.

Last week, Morrisons said would start to sell general merchandise online later this year. However, CEO Dalton Philips reiterated that Morrisons would not sell food online until management believe it could be done on profitably.


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