Sainsbury’s has announced that it is to open 100 convenience stores in the next 12 months.

The announcement came as Sainsbury’s reported a 5.1% increase in sales for the year to March 20, 2010.

In its preliminary report, chief executive Justin King said that there is a significant growth opportunity for multiple grocers in the convenience store market as the big four make up less than 15% of store numbers in the sector. He also dubbed convenience the fastest-growing part of the grocery market, and a key growth area for Sainsbury’s.

The multiple also plans to open over 100 stores in every subsequent year after this. The 
chain opened 51 convenience stores in 2009/10, increasing its total to 335.