Sainsbury’s Local delivers 27% of convenience growth, Nielsen shows

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Sainsbury's Local: driving growth

Sainsbury’s Local: driving growth

Sainsbury’s Local represents 27% of the growth in the convenience market, according to research by Nielsen.

Presenting at the IGD’s Convenience Retailing 2012 event, Sainsbury’s new convenience director, Simon Twigger, said the business was growing rapidly – it has opened 86 stores in the last 12 months and is opening one to two stores per week.

Sales are reported to be growing at just under 20% and half a million more customers are shopping in its convenience business compared to seven months ago.

Sainsbury’s will open its third depot dedicated to the convenience business in Thameside, London, in February 2013. It will have the capacity to serve 200 c-stores, said Twigger.

Twigger said Sainsbury’s was working on its range and availability and evolving its formats to flex into new locations such as petrol forecourts. Other new sites include a hospital, a former cinema in Portsmouth and occupying space alongside Fisher’s butchery and deli in Gerrards Cross.

In terms of range, Twigger said Sainsbury’s was developing its offer to target key customer groups such as students, who buy more soft drinks, pasta and sauces, for example.

In stores where the new range has been introduced there has been a significant increase in like-for-like sales, said Twigger.

He revealed Sainsbury’s is also looking to develop cross channel shopping across its supermarket, online and convenience businesses.

According to Twigger, the aim is for supermarket shoppers to do their top up shopping with Local stores by exploiting its Nectar loyalty programme.

Twigger called on suppliers to translate customer insights into their categories to make them work and for a greater focus on convenience within their teams. 

“Most suppliers are not structured to recognise this model has evolved or that multiple operators operate differently to symbols,” he said.

Twigger also recommended suppliers develop appropriate solutions for smaller c-stores in terms of merchandising units for promotions and smaller pack sizes.