Belfast Telegraph

Sainsbury's hiring extra experts to boost online sales

Supermarket giant Sainsbury's has ramped up plans to improve its online operation by recruiting 150 digital and technology experts.

Britain's second-biggest grocer said it was hiring a team of software developers and engineers which will be based at its office in Manchester's Arndale centre and work with its 900-strong technology team in London and Coventry.

The move comes after the supermarket more than doubled its digital and technology staff in the past year - hiring 480 workers - amid fierce competition for online sales from retail giants Amazon and Tesco.

The retailer won its four-month battle to buy Argos owner Home Retail Group earlier this month after agreeing a £1.4 billion deal to create a ''multi-product, multi-channel'' business with around 2,000 stores, concessions and click-and-collect outlets.

Jon Rudoe, digital and technology director at Sainsbury's, said: "The world is changing rapidly. Our vision is for Sainsbury's to have a world-class digital and technology function to ensure that we can deliver great services for our customers whenever and wherever they want to shop with us."

The supermarket said previously that its deal to buy Home Retail Group would create a ''world-leading'' retailer bigger than rivals John Lewis and Amazon UK.

As part of the tie-up, it plans to roll out an existing agreement to locate Argos concessions in its supermarkets.

However, up to 200 standalone Argos stores out of a portfolio of 845 may close as Sainsbury's streamlines the business, according to reports.

The supermarket said it expects to save at least £160 million in the third full year after the deal is complete.

The grocery sector remains locked in a price war, which has seen majors such as Sainsbury's and Tesco battle to maintain market share against discounters Aldi and Lidl.