Sainsbury’s will sell clothes online from August, in one of the first initiatives under incoming chief executive Mike Coupe.
Around 200 customers based in the Midlands will be invited to participate in the trial, in which more than 80% of clothing range Tu will be available online. Items will be eligible for home or in-store delivery, with around 50 stores taking part in click-and-collect. Distribution will be handled from its Bedford depot.
Sainsbury’s currently uses its website only as a promotional tool for Tu. If successful, it will be rolled out more widely in 2015.
James Brown, Sainsbury’s director of non-food trading, said: “Our strategy of creating high street-style clothing at supermarket prices has proved a hit and sales continue to grow strongly. We have doubled our design team, invested heavily in the quality of our clothing and last year relaunched the brand. Now’s the right time to explore the online channel.”
The supermarket is the UK’s seventh-largest clothing retailer by volume of goods sold and 11th in terms of the value of clothing sold, up from 15th a year ago. Last financial year, clothing sales totalled £750m.
Online director Robbie Feather said: “Our customers want to shop with us through a range of channels that allow them to shop whenever and wherever they want, and they’ve been asking us to extend our online service to our clothing. The pilot will allow us to work with a group of customers to build the right experience.”