Sainsbury's has created the role of director of online for former Argos commercial director Tanya Lawler as it seeks to double website sales by 2010.

Lawler joins Sainsbury's on 19 November from Cap Gemini where she was vice president of retail. She will spend the first few months immersing herself in the business before taking up her new role in January. Sainsbury's said the new role emphasised the importance of online for future growth. Lawler will have responsibility for the entire online offering, which was previously split into groceries and kitchen appliances.

Sainsbury's said its online like-for-like sales had grown by more than 44% over the past 18 months, and that it planned to expand the service from 117 stores to 200 by March 2010.

It shut its online ordering service for two days last weekend in order to carry out a system upgrade to improve customer service. The upgrade, which has taken a year to plan, should make searching for

products easier and faster, it said.