Sainsbury expands e-commerce offering

Supermarket giant moves to catch up online rivals

Sainsbury's increases its online presence Monday with the launch of a free ISP and Web site and plans to expand its online shopping early next year.

Sainsbury's admitted last month it had fallen behind rival supermarkets in developing e-commerce ventures. Tesco currently has over 50 stores from which customers can purchase goods online and announced in September it will sell books online to boost its Net sales. Asda provides online shopping for around one million customers in the South-East.

Sainsbury's currently has 10 online stores in and around London, but plans to open a dedicated "picking centre" to provide groceries for online customers in and around early next year.

A Sainsbury's spokesman denies the supermarket giant is falling behind its rivals. "We have been looking at home shopping for longer than anyone," he said. "We have decided to concentrate on one city and see what the demand is for online shopping. That is the best way forward we believe."

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