Sainsbury’s is unveiling its new city convenience store format, delivering big innovation in small spaces for local shoppers. Sainsbury’s Mansion House store in London’s Square Mile is the retailer’s first On The Go store, combining freshly made and prepared in-store food and drink with convenient ways to shop with Sainsbury’s and Argos.
Nine more On the Go stores will open across Edinburgh, Bristol, Glasgow and London over the coming months, further testing the format in city centres. Sainsbury’s has over 130 Local stores in busy urban areas that could be converted into On the Go stores.
Using data and analytics Sainsbury’s has designed the 2,200 sq ft Mansion House Local to match the needs of busy city workers and ranges have been expertly tailored. The new format follows the success of Sainsbury’s recently launched neighbourhood convenience stores, which offer residents in the local community a one-stop shop for a broad range of food and general merchandise products as well as convenient services.
Customers can choose to eat-in – for the first time perch tables have been placed at the front of store giving customers somewhere to enjoy freshly made and baked food from an in-store pizza oven, bakery and Sushi Gourmet concession as well as hot porridge and drinks from a self-service coffee machine and orange juicer. Products from counters have also been conveniently brought to a ‘grab and go’ station at the front of the store. Changed three times a day, it will offer customers a range of food to go for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea.
Almost 90% of the products available in the store have been picked specifically to meet the needs of Mansion House customers. Along with a wider selection of fresh food and floral products, some top-performing specialist and premium brands from Sainsbury’s supermarkets, such as Tony’s Chocolonely and Leon Grocery, have been added to shelves.
A range of digital services help customers shop quickly and conveniently and do more of their shopping under one roof. Customers can shop till-free using the SmartShop mobile app and rapid exit checkouts offer a quicker experience if shoppers choose to use a till. Argos and Tu clothing Click and Collect are also available.
The On the Go stores tap into the growing trend for convenient food to go. According to IGD the UK food to go market is forecast to be worth £23.4bn by 2024, up from £18.5bn in 2019, growing by 26.4% . The stores will help Sainsbury’s maintain its market-leading position in convenience. For the last five years Sainsbury’s convenience stores have outperformed the market in terms of trading intensity and around nine million customers visit Sainsbury’s Locals every week.
By the end of this financial year (March 2020) Sainsbury’s will have invested significantly in improving 200 of its 807 convenience stores, with further upgrades and investments planned across the estate this year.
Graham Biggart, Sainsbury’s director of commercial operations, said: “Convenience is a growing part of our business and we have greater capability than ever to truly tailor Local stores to local needs – across our products, formats, services and operations. Our new On the Go Mansion House Local is a great example, bringing a new kind of convenience to busy local workers with limited time and delivering the curated range and fast experience that will enable them to get exactly what they want at pace. We’re confident this format will further strengthen our market-leading position in convenience.”
Donna Emerton, Sainsbury’s Mansion House store manager, said: “We’re really excited to bring local shoppers our new Mansion House store. By focussing on fresh ‘On the Go’ food and drink and making it even easier for customers to shop quickly and conveniently, we’re well-placed to bring busy city workers everything they need under one roof.”
Sainsbury’s new store is another step towards hyper personalised shopping experience, according to Elliott Jacobs, EMEA commerce consulting director at LiveArea.
“Today’s consumers demand their individual expectations are met. The big four, however, have traditionally taken a one-size fits all approach to experience. The Sainsbury’s ‘concept’ store shows an understanding that this isn’t optimal, and that they need to design, update and tailor stores based on all the data pull.
“Selling sushi or oat milk in some stores and not others is no longer enough. If Sainsbury’s is to compete with low-cost options, Lidl and Aldi, they need to own a niche, the convenient food-to-go. As that market continues to grow, expect Sainsbury’s and Tesco’s to look to upgrade local stores and tailor the range of food and merchandise it consumers.”