UK supermarket group Sainsbury's is on a major recruitment drive that it hopes will see close to 500 new digital and technology specialists join the business in the coming months.

These new digital experts will be brought in to improve Sainsbury's existing digital platforms for customers, such as the website and mobile shopping apps, as well as developing, testing and launching new products in a new digital lab that is set to open in the summer.

The innovation hub in Coventry will employ 300 people and sit alongside the retailer's existing operations team that already supports the company's stores, depots and offices. Sainsbury's says the new space will give developers, digital designers, product owners, engineers and testers a modern space to work and test new ways of shopping.

Sainsbury's is also currently constructing a digital lab at its headquarters in London's Holborn, where 180 roles will be available.

Explaining the recent investment in and focus on technology, the grocer's CEO Mike Coupe said: "The shape of our business is changing and digital and technology is a core part of our future growth.

"Ultimately these changes are good news for customers – the technology hub in Coventry will keep our systems running smoothly and experts in our digital lab in London will be developing new ways of digital shopping to give customers the best access to our products, services and offers."

Yesterday saw UK prime minister David Cameron visit the Holborn lab, as part of the early stages of the Conservative Party's General Election campaign. During his visit he met with members of the Sainsbury's team, including director of digital & technology Jon Rudoe.

"We're now firmly on the map as a career destination for digital and technology specialists," explained Rudoe.

"Retail is a vibrant sector for innovation and this team is key to keeping our fast-paced business running. We're structuring and equipping entrepreneurial teams to improve the digital experience and develop products that will help make our customers' lives easier."