If business is good in England, then chances are it will be just as good in other countries if you believe in your service, product, or brand. Sainsbury is betting that their present success will cross over as they view opening stores in China and other countries. The attempt a decade ago to expand to the US and Egypt failed.
With new leaders on board to lead the way such as Darren Shapland, Sainsbury’s development director, this wave of expansion definitely has an air of confidence behind it and the numbers to back it. He six months to October 28 sales rose 7 per cent to £11.9 billion. Pre-tax profit over the six months saw an increase by 8.1 per cent to £332 million.
Justin King, chief executive, said Sainsbury’s growth is ahead of the market saying: “If anything we have been stretching our legs a little away from the market in recent months.”
Besides the overseas expansion plans there are also plans for the small-store “convenience” division expansion over the next six months. There are plans for the opening of 50 convenience stores to add to the 13 opened in the first half of the year.
China is definitely a growth area for Sainsbury, as a team was sent to Shanghai. The booming market in China makes it an attractive market to enter. India has also been a focus according to Shapland.
“We will look at India at some stage,” he said. “Within the last three months we have sent a team of seven staff over to Shanghai to investigate the retail opportunity in China. With the expansion going on over there at the moment it would be negligent not to do an assessment.
“This is a massive developing market and we are looking at a number of ways of doing things.
“We are also doing a lot of consumer research, living with local families to learn how they buy their food and live their lives.
“It’s a long term project in which we are talking to suppliers, learning about the legislation, and looking at property.”