Sainsbury’s is “now a digital first business” according to analysts, as it reported a whopping 87 per cent boost in online sales.
Kantar’s senior vice president of retail insights Ray Gaul says Sainsbury’s is now “competing on an altogether different playing field”, no longer in direct competition with the UK’s Big 4 supermarkets.
Instead its “bold renovation plans” before and during the COVID-19 crisis have transformed it into a “digital first business” now competing with smaller digitally native stores.
“The renovation can be likened to attempting to build a new home ground,” Gaul explained.
“The new ‘Sainsburys’ stadium embraces the motto: Fast, friendly, and convenient (FFC). It is coming to life in large scale with over 1,000 store projects completed each year.
“This work has not slowed during Covid-lockdown, in fact it has accelerated. Chop Chop deliveries from superstores have expanded to 15 more British cities. Covid-driven fears have advanced some of the investments in the FFC transformation.
“Sainsburys’ centrepiece innovation ‘Smartshop’, a handheld personalised digital app that speeds shopper journeys, is now used in over 37% of all transactions.
“The result is that while Sainsburys’ has taken on extraordinary additional costs to stay open during the pandemic, sales have grown at a record pace making it much easier to cover these costs and remain true to 2020/21’s financial objectives. Sainsburys is now a digital first business in a revamped league competition.”
It comes as Sainsburys revealed an 8.5 per cent sales rise during its first quarter, notably the first with its newly instated chief executive Simon Roberts.
The Share Centre’s investment research analyst Joe Healey also celebrated the retailer’s digital success, stating that nearly “50 per cent of new online groceries are from new customers with the supermarket now taking over 650,000 orders a week compared to just 370,000 pre-crisis.
“The flexibility to double capacity speaks volumes of the technology and digital platforms Sainsbury operate and will be something investors will be very pleased with moving into the future.”