Sainsbury's plans to grow its c-store estate by nearly a third by 2010.
Chief executive Justin King said the company was looking to "extend the reach of the Sainsbury's brand" in convenience by opening 100 new stores across the country by 2010.
With extensions and 30 new supermarkets, floorspace will increase by 10% as the CEO switched from taking stock of operations to expansion mode.
The move will grow Sainsbury's c-store estate by 30% to 426 stores. Tesco owns 1,219 stores in the UK.
King's announcement comes just two weeks after Sainsbury's revealed plans to convert all 178 of its Jacksons and Bells fascias stores to Sainsbury's Locals in a bid to cut costs and boost sales. The retailer is in the process of recruiting three new regional MDs to take responsibility for its convenience business, which is being split into three regions - central and west, north, and south.
Sainsbury's announced underlying pre-tax profit up 42% to £380m on total sales up 6.9% to £18.5bn in the year to 24 March. King also announced a new three-year plan, which targets extra sales by £3.5bn by 2010. With an extra £1.8bn in sales since March 2005, King said Sainsbury's was ahead of its previous three-year plan to grow sales by £2.5m up to March 2008. "We are ahead of the curve in terms of targets. Now is the time to introduce exciting and more stretching ones."
Non food, and in particular clothing, would play a critical role in achieving the sales growth targets he said, adding he would not rule out a dedicated non food website or catalogue.
But there are no plans to sell off Sainsbury's valuable freehold estate - though it had been revalued at £8.6bn - a 65% premium to its previous book value, which King attributed to improving store-level performance.
Meanwhile, King hit back at Asda chief executive Andy Bond's accusation this week that competitors were "ripping customers off" by using organic, premium and healthy food as "an excuse to inflate margins". King said: "The price of our Fairtrade bananas is the same as our rivals charge for regular bananas."King's new three-year plan
Raise sales by £3.5bn (£2.33bn new sales from groceries,
£1.17bn from non food)
Online home delivery services
expand by 75% from
114 to 200 stores
Extend or refurbish more than
50% of all stores in the estate
Open 100 new convenience stores and 30 new supermarkets
Halve the company's annual
3% increase in operating
costs through efficiencies