Sainsbury's to close supermarkets and Argos stores

Sainsbury's. Photo -  Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images
Sainsbury's. Photo - Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images

Sainsbury's has announced plans to close a number of supermarkets and Argos branches.

The supermarket giant said it will close up to 15 supermarkets and between 60 and 70 Argos branches. Between 30 and 40 convenience stores are also set for closure.

However, it added it plans to create 80 new Argos outlets in its Sainsbury's stores, and will also open ten new supermarkets and 110 new convenience stores.

The company said they expected the closures would "deliver an ongoing net operating profit benefit of £20 million per year."

And it warned that profit for the six months until September 21 was expected to be down £50 million year on year, because of cost savings, unseasonal weather and higher marketing costs.

In their second quarter trading statement, Sainsbury's has also confirmed it plans to immediately stop new mortgage sales.

Chief Executive Officer Mike Coupe said: "We have focused on reducing prices on every day food and grocery products and expanding our range of value brands, which have been very popular with customers. At the same time, we are investing significantly in our supermarkets, driving consistent improvements to service and availability.

“Argos continued to grow market share in key categories, but sales were impacted by reduced promotional activity and the timing of new product releases in gaming and toys. Clothing sales were boosted by clearance activity and strong online growth and Tu continued to grow market share. Financial Services sales were in line with expectations.”