Sainsburys Argos merger cleared by CMA

Sainsburys takeover of the Home Retail Group has been given the green light by the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

In a short notice posted on its website, the CMA added: “The full text of the decision will be available shortly.”

The CMA had announced that it would investigate the potential merger on the 27 May.

As discussed on Apex Insight previously, one of the biggest draws to the Home Retail Group has been the newly improved Fast Track home delivery network that was set up by Argos last year.

In preparation for the deal, and while it has been going through the approvals process, Sainsburys has been working on its own delivery infrastructure. In April it announced that it would double the number of stores offering Click & Collect in its store car parks over the coming year.

On Thursday – just ahead of Friday’s announcement by the CMA – Sainsburys announced that it will be opening its new online fulfilment centre in Bromley by Bow this autumn. This new centre will support the soll out of the planned same day delivery service.

As part of yesterday’s announcement, Sainsbury’s also said that it is now trialling same-day deliveries at three stores in Streatham Common, Richmond and Brookwood in Surrey – and the plan is to expand the pilot to 30 stores by Christmas.

It is starting to look as though the merger will be some way through when the Christmas season begins, and this should see the start of fireworks online as the new Sainsburys is able to flex its muscles online as well as in store.