Sainsbury’s has this week launched a video-on-demand service as part of wider plans to ramp up its digital business.

The service, available at, offers films to rent or buy to watch on any computer or an Apple device. It launched with more than 300 films including Les Miserables and Jack Reacher.

The move is part of the grocer’s plans to step up investment in digital initiatives, as revealed by Retail Week last week. Sainsbury’s will scale back investments on new supermarkets this year and focus instead on digital and convenience stores. Group commercial director Mike Coupe said the grocer wanted to “increase our capability in the digital area as part of an omnichannel strategy”.

Sainsbury’s video-on-demand operates on a pay-as-you-go basis. Rental prices start from £1.99 per film for 30 days, and shoppers can also buy films from £6.99. Customers have 48 hours to finish watching a rented film once they’ve started it.

Nectar card holders will be able to earn loyalty points for buying or renting films and also redeem points to pay for purchases.

The move follows Sainsbury’s partnering with Rovi Corporation to power its video-on-demand and buying Anobii, a social network and online retailer of e-books.