Sainsbury’s ties deal with BT to boost productivity at store level


Sainsbury’s and BT have today announced a deal to improve network connections to the retailer’s 1,000 stores and 23 depots, which is designed to improve productivity in store.

Sainsbury’s connection to BT’s next generation broadband service will provide enhanced network capacity for convenience stores nationwide, as well as major stores and depots. The improved connections with up to four times more capacity will mean stores and depots will be able to share more data in real time, said BT.

Justin King, Sainsbury’s chief executive, said: “This deal with BT is a significant step for Sainsbury’s as we continue to invest to support our growth plans. This investment will enhance the productivity of our colleagues in store and allow an even greater focus on serving customers.”

The contract was signed on 14 December 2011 at Sainsbury’s store support centre in Holborn.

Ian Livingston, chief executive, BT Group, said: “This contract is testament to our ability to deliver complex communications systems to large, multi-sited enterprises, so we’re very proud Sainsbury’s has chosen us. BT’s next generation network will future-proof Sainsbury’s platform for the coming years and it opens up a range of possibilities for them to be even more creative with the services they offer their customers and colleagues.”

Rob Fraser, Sainsbury’s IT director, said: “This significant investment drives greater efficiency and productivity now, but is also a key enabler for our ambitious growth plans.”

Sainsbury’s Wide Area Network (WAN), which handles sales and stock ordering details between stores, head office and supply chain centres, will benefit from at least four times greater capacity to stores; leading to faster times for all applications as well as for the 22m customer transactions a week made in stores across the country, according to BT. The investment also provides Sainsbury’s with a foundation on which to develop voice and video services in future, said BT.

More than 230 convenience stores have already been connected to the next generation broadband service in 11 weeks, and all other stores will be upgraded by December 2012. BT said it is deploying a mix of products, including Ethernet and advanced copper broadband, to improve services to Sainsbury’s main depots, data centres and stores.