In July, Tesco announced that they would become the first supermarket chain to offer same-day grocery delivery in the UK, but less than a month after that announcement, they are already being trounced by their retail rivals Sainsbury’s. This week, Sainsbury’s (the second-biggest supermarket chain in the UK, after Tesco, with a 16.5% market share), announced that they would become the first to offer customers the chance to collect shopping within half an hour of making the initial order online.
This will be undertaken via a smartphone app called “chop chop”, which is currently being used in a trial period at Sainsbury’s Pimlico branch. All the user needs to do is head straight to the Chop Chop stand at Sainsbury’s to pick up their items, with no extra charge for using this click and collect service. The news of this trial has made a big impact in the retail industry and beyond, with news outlets such as The Telegraph going as far as to ask “Is this the end of after work shopping?”
Although it’s too early to predict how successful this trial period will be and assess the impact it will have on the retail industry, it does have an imminent effect on retail recruitment at the supermarket giant. Earlier this month, it was reported that the company was undertaking a £500 million cost-cutting drive, axing 1,000 jobs at its head office, while earlier this year, they put over 4,000 jobs in store at risk (eliminating 400 altogether) by removing night shifts at certain stores, shaking up timetables for thousands of employees and, in some of the most drastic cases, moving employees to daytime shifts with a pay decrease.
It is unclear whether, if the scheme is successful, the company will have a significant recruitment drive during the rollout of “Chop Chop” to stores nationwide, or if existing staff will be shuffled into different positions. In the announcement of the new approach to click and collect, Sainsbury’s Online Director Clodagh Moriarty claimed that market trends showed customers are increasingly wanting “complete autonomy” in their shopping habits. After Sainsbury’s suffered an 8.2% decline in annual pre-tax profits for the year to 11th March (down from £548 million to £503 million), it seems that the company is going to be pulling out all the stops to catch the eyes of consumers with innovative schemes like Chop Chop.