Tuesday, June 18, 2024

International news: Sainsbury’s experiments with quick-shop supermarket design

A radically different supermarket layout and an increased range of check-out options is being trialled at six UK supermarkets to respond to new and emerging shopping trends.

The majority of people still do their food shopping in supermarkets, but are increasingly doing smaller shops. In addition to having a successful and growing convenience store estate, Sainsbury’s is also trialling how it can cater to specific shopping missions in its supermarkets, including a new ‘Food to Go’ section at the front of the store next to the check-outs. The retailer has also moved its fresh bakery products to this section, making it more convenient for people wanting to buy fresh products quickly.

Sainsbury’s is also dedicating more space in these stores to its popular Tu clothing range, along with kitchen and homeware items. For people who want to spend time browsing, items such as clothing, homeware, mobile phones and tablets are situated along the walls of the stores. The amount of space given to non-food in these trial stores has increased by around 30 per cent.

As well as making shopping easier, Sainsbury’s is also trying to help customers check out as quickly as possible and is piloting two new types of check-out in the trial stores, giving customers four different options to choose from. In addition to manned check-outs and self-check-outs used for basket shops, Sainsbury’s is offering customers a larger self-check-out option for people with small trolleys, which is already proving popular with customers. In the two stores piloting Sainsbury’s new shopping app, ‘SmartShop’, people can also check out via the innovative new SmartShop handset.

When fully tested and ready to roll out, SmartShop will enable customers to scan in their shopping lists at home. Once they get to store, the app will show a map locating their chosen items around the store and they will pay via their mobile phone, which will be the quickest check-out option of all.

Sainsbury’s CEO Mike Coupe says the trial is about seeing how far Sainsbury’s can go in catering for every shopping mission, “whether someone wants to pop in quickly to buy a sandwich for lunch, or whether they have more time and want inspiration for the home, or advice on tech and gadgets”.

“No matter what customers are buying, we know that everyone wants to check out as quickly as possible and giving customers more check-out options to suit them is key to the trial,” he said. “The pilot stores will act as a barometer for feedback and we’re listening to what customers tell us along the way. This is very much a trial and we know that not everything will work, but certain elements are already proving very popular and we would hope to roll those out more widely where feedback is consistently positive.”

The six stores involved in the trial are Alperton in London, Devizes in Wiltshire, Emersons Green in Bristol, Harpenden in Hertfordshire, Morecambe in Lancashire and Tamworth in Staffordshire. Different elements are being trialled in each of these stores.

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