Sainsburys Argos takeover could threaten Amazon?

Delivery company Fastlane International believe that Sainsburys poses a real threat to Amazon and will create a “powerful retail force” that will “combine multi-channel sales with class leading delivery options”.

The delivery company contrasted the Sainsbury’s/Argos tie-up with the “fragmented” approach to online sales taken by companies like the beleaguered department store BHS, which hands a significant part of its web sales to a white label site. Fastlane believes that this can “spread confusion for shoppers”.

David Jinks, Head of Consumer Research at Fastlane International, said, “The take-over by Sainsbury’s of Argos has its critics; but Sainsbury’s knows the groceries market is not a major growth area; whereas the combined Sainsbury’s Argos operation would forge a group offering over 100,000 products.

“Customers expect to be able to buy offline and online and Sainsbury’s argues the takeover of Home Retail Group – which owns Argos and Habitat – gives them a unique business in the UK, with over 2,000 shops: something which Amazon doesn’t have.”

With Argos Fast Track, the company brings a lot of expertise in delivery fulfilment. This offers same day delivery very day of the week, which is “exactly the customer experience people now expect”, said Jinks.

“This is all in rather stark contrast with BHS,” added Jinks. “It’s welcome news that BHS’ creditors voted to support its rent cut plans today [23 March]. However it still faces some problems. Not the least of which is that its delivery options are not inspiring. BHS’ standard deliveries for Easter (which it defines as Thursday 24 March) closed at 4pm on Saturday 19 March, for example. And its web site can confuse consumers. For example, buying larger items such as fridges take you away from to a white label site called BHS Direct: which is actually run and fulfilled by a different company entirely, Buy It Direct.’

“Customers are warned they are heading over to a ‘sister site’ and that ‘Any events or promotions on or do not apply to the BHS Direct site;’ followed with the not entirely integrated message: ‘Not to worry, any item currently in your basket will be saved for you to purchase when you return’.

“Critics may be focussing currently on the lack-lustre feel of BHS’ brick and mortar stores and its high rents,” concluded Jinks, “but its e-commerce proposition is not exactly integrated and seamless either.”

For more information about the changes in e-commerce see: