Sainsbury's, the U.K.'s third-largest supermarket, has launched its own music download store.
Effective immediately, a catalog of over 2.3 million tracks is available for U.K. consumers to purchase from Sainsbury's Entertainment website, including individual songs and albums. Track prices start at £0.89 ($1.44) with the majority of chart albums costing £6.99 ($11.29). A 'Deal of the Week' promotion prices select albums at £4.99 ($8.00). The current "Deal of the Week" is Norah Jones Little Broken Hearts (Blue Note/EMI).
To compete with rival download stores, Sainsbury's is guaranteeing to deliver the lowest available price on MP3 pre-orders. In instances where a customer purchases a pre-order and the price falls ahead of, or on the release date, the retailer says it will refund the difference.
The service, which benefits from a simple, user-friendly interface and simple, uncluttered design, was offering all new customers one free track download until this past Sunday (May 6).
Customers signed up to Sainsbury's existing loyalty initiative, the popular Nectar points scheme, will earn rewards for each music purchase made.
Announcing the launch, Mark Bennett, Sainsbury's head of entertainment (online), said in a statement: "This launch of our new MP3 music service enables our customers across the U.K. to get digital music at great value."
"This is the first step in our expansion to offer digital entertainment alongside our existing range of CDs, games, film and books catalogue," Bennett added.
Sainsbury's is the U.K.'s third-largest mass merchant retailer and operates 934 stores comprising 557 supermarkets and 377 convenience stores, which serve over 21 million customers a week, according to the London-based company.