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Sainsbury’s plays catch up with click and collect roll out

Sainsbury’s has announced it will offer click and collect grocery services in 100 of its stores this year. The roll out of the new services has already started, with three stores (in Surrey, Berkshire and Leicestershire) now live, and a total of 20 set to open this month.

The service will operate Monday to Saturday from 8am to 1pm and 2pm to 8pm, and will be available in store opening hours on Sundays. Those spending at least £20 can use it for free and orders can be placed up to 20 days in advance. The click and collect point will be a refrigerated van parked in the store car park, staffed by a store assistant, the supermarket said.

By comparison, Asda and Tesco, already well established in this sector, have almost 1,000 grocery click and collect sites between them, with all 592 Asda stores offering click and collect and almost 400 Tesco stores giving shoppers that option. Both are also investing heavily in taking click and collect grocery services for shoppers who don’t live in close proximity to a store.

Asda plans to open 150 remote click and collect sites by the end of 2015, and has a target of 1,000 click and collect sites by the end of 2018. It also has plans to have 15 click and collect points at petrol stations across the south of England by this summer, and boasts same-day click and collect in all of its stores.

Tesco is also experimenting with remote locations, and has a number of grocery click and collect trials taking place across the UK, with customers being able to pick up their shopping from manned collection points operating in school car parks, hotel car parks and outside village halls.

Tesco Direct, the supermarket’s non-food range, offers click and collect in 2,650 stores.

Sainsbury first unveiled its click and collect offering the London Underground network last summer. Customers shopping in the catchment areas of those branches of Sainsbury’s involved in the new service will find they are given a click and collect option, alongside home delivery slots, when they check out.

Chloe Rigby, editor of InternetRetailing, eDelivery’s sister title, offered her point of view on the news: “Sainsbury’s looks like it’s trying to catch up quickly with competitor supermarkets in rolling out grocery click and collect. Asda and Tesco are well advanced in the roll out of their own food pick-up services. It’s worth noting that the sainsburys.co.uk website has recently had its IT systems upgraded – perhaps this has made the new service possible. Certainly it looks like such services will be vital both in increasing the proportion of sales that come from online retailing and in differentiating multichannel supermarkets from their online-only competitors, such as Ocado.”