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Sainsbury’s online Christmas sales rocket after SCM investment

Click and Collect plays a key part

Sainsbury's has reported a 20 percent leap in e-commerce sales on the lead up to Christmas, as it praised the results of supply chain investments.

In December, the supermarket delivered 160,000 orders per week to online customers. Sainsbury's said in a statement that it had its "best-ever availability" of products during the lead up to Christmas.

In the last few years, the supermarket has spoken of "continued improvements in IT, supply chain and store-picking processes". In 2010, the comany implemented the Spectrum Infrastructure Management solution from CA to support its online shopping operations, and outsourced supply chain management to IBM. Last year it appointed the former head of retail at Ocado, Jon Rudoe, as its new director of online.

Sainsbury's expanded its online business in 2009 when it started selling 8,000 non-food products via the internet. A year later, it launched a 'click and collect' service, allowing people to order online and collect in-store.

Over Christmas last year, some 75 percent of people buying general merchandise used the Click and Collect service.

The growth of click-and-collect sales mirrors the experience at Next, John Lewis and Marks&Spencer, which all reported a large boost from these trades during Christmas.

As Sainsbury's reported its online sales growth, it said group revenues - including those from stores - rose two percent in the 14 weeks to 8 January in the face of a tough financial climate.

Justin King, chief executive at the company, described the period as "a strong quarter, rounded off by our best Christmas ever, despite the economic backdrop".

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