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Sainsbury’s moves up a gear, launches Tu Premium, adds more Argos units, debuts Mini Habitats

UK supermarket giant Sainsbury’s is stepping up its bid to attract more customers on three fronts. The retailer launches its new womenswear collection, Tu Premium on Tuesday, targeting higher-end women’s fashion rivals Hobbs, LK Bennett and Whistles’ customers.

The retailer also plans to more than double the number of Argos in-store units by Christmas and also debut home furnishings retailer Habitat.

“The quality and styling of the [Tu Premium] collection will rival Hobbs, LK Bennett and Whistles, but with a key difference – significantly lower prices that start at £12 rising to £50 for a wool-blend wrap coat,” said the retailer late last week.

Sainsbury’s said its clothing turnover is approaching £1bn and is one of the group’s biggest areas of growth.

“Shopping for clothing in supermarkets has become firmly established, and our strategy of offering customers high-street style at supermarket prices in an attractive, department store-style setting has helped us to increase our market share,” said James Brown, Sainsbury’s director of non-food trading.

“Our customers recognise quality and great value and they want to buy clothes with classic styling and upgraded fabrics from us.”

Tu Premium will be available in 160 UK stores and online from September 6. The range includes daywear, outerwear and footwear.

Meanwhile, Sainsbury’s will increase the number of Argos concessions from 13 to 30 and open five Mini Habitat stores within its supermarkets over the coming months.

The retailer said the moves, which follows the takeover of Argos and Habitat owner Home Retail Group, will give customers access to more than 90,000 products under one roof.

Sainsbury’s chief executive Mike Coupe said: “This is the start of an exciting new phase for Sainsbury’s, Argos and Habitat.

“Being able to shop across all three brands under one roof will make our customers’ lives even more convenient and offer them incredible choice.”

The combination of Sainsbury’s and Argos will also create one of the biggest non-food retailers in the UK with more than 2,000 stores.

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