Sainsbury’s acquisition drives ecommerce presence

UK supermarket chain Sainbury's has made its first acquisition since it purchased stores from the Co-operative Group in 2009, as it moves to boost its digital entertainment services.

Sainsbury’s has purchased Global Media Vault (GMV) from MBL Group in a deal worth £1million. The deal is said to support the retailer’s drive into the ‘growing’ online and digital entertainment market.

GMV is a white label online digital entertainment business which operates with Sainsbury’s as its main client. GMV’s digital database is reported to include three million music, film and games assets for the UK market which can be purchased and distributed through the internet as well as mobile, TV and kiosk services.

Sainsbury’s Group development director, Luke Jensen, says that online retailing and the provision of digital content is set to be a key driver in the future of entertainment, which makes the purchase particularly important for the supermarket chain.

Jensen adds: ‘Taking control of GMV will enable us to develop our existing Sainsbury’s entertainment website even further enhancing the functionality and customer experience, meaning customers will soon be able to buy, rent or stream content from Sainsbury’s.’

The acquisition is also said by Jensen to be a ‘big’ time saving move when compared to building a platform from scratch.

According to Sainsbury’s the UK entertainment market is worth £7.3 billion, with the digital and online market in ‘strong growth’. The company says the online sector is expected to double in value by 2015.

The transaction means that entertainment distributor MBL has now exited the digital and ecommerce sphere because of high development costs.

Sainsbury’s acquisition of GMV comes as many supermarkets move to improve their online retailing. In February fellow supermarket chain Morrisons made its first step into the e-commerce arena with the £70 million purchase of Kiddicare, with the view to using its new technology platform as a foundation for its own non-food online business.

Todd Cardy

Todd Cardy

Todd was Editor of between 2010 and 2011 as well as being responsible for publishing our digital and printed magazines focusing on private equity and venture capital. Connect with...

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