Sainsbury's ups non-food in bid to catch Asda

Sainsbury's has begun the first phase of strengthening its non-food offer as it plays catch-up with Tesco and Asda.

The grocer, which recently lost its number two spot to Asda, has introduced its new home and cookshop ranges - understood to number more than 2,000 lines - to seven stores. Sainsbury's is to take the offer into 220 shops over the coming weeks.

The non-food strategy is being conducted in phases. Clothing and kids will be the focus next year, after the home range has bedded in.

Sainsbury's wants to develop authority in non-food and has recruited a specialist team for the project, poaching staff from the likes of Carrefour, Marks & Spencer and Boots.

Charles Stanley analyst Simon Proctor said: 'There is room for improvement in Sainsbury's non-food offer, but the significance of its new range should not be overplayed. It still needs to get things right on the food side, like in-store availability. Non-food will not be the saviour of its stagnant like-for-like sales.'