Sainsbury’s is aiming to lift its total share of the clothing market by volume from 10th to fifth place in four years.
Sainsbury’s managing director of non-food Luke Jensen said his division had “come of age” and was now “punching above its weight” across several categories.
Jensen pointed out that clothing grew last year despite the recession, with some areas “outperforming”, including kidswear, which was up 32% year-on-year.
Sainsbury’s, which was due to report its full-year figures as Retail Week went to press, has highlighted non-food as a key growth area, and laid out plans last year to double its non-food sales.
Jensen said: “This year space growth will be key for non-food. The bulk of the growth will come from extensions. As we have become comfortable with our largest stores, we can now stretch ourselves further.”
He said Sainsbury’s largest stores with the full non-food offer, such as Sydenham in south London and Fosse Park in Leicester, cover 80,000 sq ft. The grocer now has a clutch of planning applications out for larger stores of about 100,000 sq ft.
“We can easily expand our non-food range and there are many massive growth areas we can develop, including kidswear, lingerie, kids’ books and entertainment,” he said.
He said about 20% of the population is within a 15-minute drive of its wider non-food offer and it wants to double this to 40% by 2014.
Sainsbury’s has also introduced its first brand Speedo, into 12 stores at the beginning of the year, which Jensen expects to roll-out further.
He said: “Traditionally, brands don’t sell in supermarkets but, as more people start doing their non-food shopping at supermarkets, we expect at some point the likes of Nike and Adidas will be knocking on our door, having realised that this is the future of retail.”
Sainsbury’s click-and-collect trial went live in 10 stores at the beginning of the month and will also create growth this year with its coupon-at-till offer.