Sainsbury's is planning to remove restrictions at stores that are banned from selling certain non food items as part of its drive to increase sales in the category.

The supermarket has begun recruiting for a variety of new property roles with the remit to advise stores on operating restrictions and sales opportunities that exist through getting retrospective permission from councils to sell non food.

When many supermarkets open, planning permission is granted based on food as the core offer with a small non food offer allowed.

However, rival Asda is currently appealing against a council decision to refuse a retrospective application to sell non food goods at its Huntly store, near Aberdeen.

Sainsbury's has said it must add £700m of non food sales by March 2008 - which is 28% of its £2.5bn targeted growth in turnover.