The Sainsbury’s supermarket group is planning to open branches of its own bank in stores, it has been revealed.
Sainsbury’s makes an annual profit of around £ 60million through its banking arm, which offers credit cards, savings accounts, loans, insurance and foreign exchange.
Its products can be requested online or by phone, but in the future, customers will be able to find branches in selected stores.
Building on success: the plan should be the first step in a new impetus for the group’s financial services branch
Banking trials should see the light of day towards the end of the year. The banking plan is likely to be the first step in a new impetus for the group’s financial services arm – including the introduction of mortgages.
Underlining its ambitions, the food distributor severed its ties with Lloyds Banking Group, its initial partner, and this year moved to its own information systems, a step that will give the group greater freedom to develop Sainsbury’s Bank.
Sainsbury’s CFO John Rogers told The Mail on Sunday: “We see around 24 million customer transactions every week and the bank has 1.6 million active receivables, so the bank’s growth is a priority with a huge potential. “
The move is part of a broader review of store formats with trials of new layouts planned for the summer aimed at enabling convenience store customers to find what they want faster rather than having to search through an entire supermarket to find a handful of items.
Daily items, including sandwiches and ready meals, will be on display at the front of each store, while convenience items, such as cereals, bread and cheese, will be right behind. Items in the Weekly Shop will require a bit more time and navigation.
Sainsbury’s also intends to introduce faster checkouts, using up-to-the-minute checkout systems that will allow cashiers to deal with customers much faster.
The company is initially expected to test the new layouts in around six stores.
Rogers added, “Our new formats will allow people to shop in our supermarkets more efficiently, with clear options whether you want to buy a quick lunch or a full weekly store.”
The group is expected to record a 17% drop in pre-tax profits to £ 660million for the year through March as the group faces stiff competition from discount chains.
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