Sainsbury’s eyes China growth

Posted by Josette Dunn on 23rd June 2010

UK retailer Sainsbury’s could enter the Chinese market as part of expansion plans under its new-look management team.Sainsbury’s management revamp, announced on Monday (21 June) and designed to “support and drive” the company’s long-term growth strategy, will see CFO Darren Shapland become group development director on the plc board.

A spokesperson for Sainsbury’s told just-food today that Shapland’s new role will also involve international business development, including research into the Chinese market.

“We do not see international expansion as part of our short-term plans, but given the extraordinary growth in China, we think it wise to assess if there will be an opportunity for us in the future,” the spokesperson said.

Sainsbury’s has two sourcing offices in Shanghai and Hong Kong with around 100 staff based there.

The retailer said it will be looking to open further sourcing offices as it looks to “accelerate the growth” of its business.

“This will have no impact on our day-to-day operations. Sainsbury’s is a UK retailer, and we continue to focus on growing the business in this country,” the spokesperson added.

Property director on the operating board John Rogers will replace Shapland as CFO. Other appointments included the promotion of trading director Mike Coupe to group commercial director on the plc board, and Helen Buck, business unit director for grocery, to become convenience director on the operating board.

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