Sainsbury’s and Argos to close 125 stores

The closures will include 70 Argos stores, 15 large supermarkets and 40 convenience stores.

Supermarket chain Sainsbury’s has announced a shake-up aimed at saving the company £500 million over the next five years.

The company said it would shut a further 70 Argos stores and relocate another 80 sites into its supermarkets. Some 15 large supermarkets will also go plus up to 40 convenience sites.

However, the company also plans to open around 120 new grocery stores, mostly convenience stores.

The supermarket did not say where the closures would be, so it is unclear whether Coventry will be affected, but did say that all Argos staff would be relocated.

Sainsbury’s is also following rival Tesco Bank in stopping new mortgage lending amid tough competition and weak rates in the sector.

The update was issued as the company announced an improved 0.2% fall in like-for-like sales over the 12 weeks to 21 September – its second quarter.

It pointed to “improved growth momentum” with total retail sales rising 0.1% on the same period last year – driven by grocery and clothing. General merchandise sales were 2% lower.

It blamed bad weather and higher marketing costs for the forecast £50m drop on the period last year.