Sainsbury’s is hiring 150 digital and technology experts to help improve its online store as it finalises the buyout of Argos.
The team, who will work out of an existing Sainsbury’s office in Manchester’s Arndale centre, will include software developers and engineers and will work in partnership with 900 other digital and technology experts based in London and Coventry.
Jon Rudoe, digital and technology director at Sainsbury’s, said: “The world is changing rapidly. Our vision is for Sainsbury’s to have a world-class digital and technology function to ensure that we can deliver great services for our customers whenever and wherever they want to shop with us.”
Sainsbury’s has more than doubled its digital and technology staff in the past year, hiring 480 workers as it prepares to fend off rising competition from Amazon as well as the UK’s dominant online grocer Tesco.
Rudoe said Manchester was a natural place for Sainsbury’s to recruit in because it was the UK’s second largest technology hub, after London.
John Lewis, Marks & Spencer and Tesco have also set up tech hubs as retailers battle to get a step ahead of the rapid changes in online shopping.
The price of failing to keep up was spelled out by Next last month which admitted that poor Christmas sales were partly the result of its failure to develop the way it sold via mobile phones - the fastest growing method of shopping.
Sainsbury’s is in the process of buying Argos, the multi-channel retailer, which it believes will help it take on Amazon and diversify away from the ultra-competitive food retail market.