Sainsbury’s trials greater focus on housewares

Sainsbury’s has revealed details of trials being carried out at six of its supermarkets across the UK to respond to new and emerging shopping trends.

Changes include a radically different supermarket layout and increased range of checkout options, designed to make the stores quicker and easier to shop and to offer customers more choice where they most want it.

Sainsbury’s is also dedicating more space in these stores to its Tu clothing range along with kitchen and homeware items. For shoppers who want to spend time browsing, items such as clothing, homeware, mobile phones and tablets are situated along the walls of the store.

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 checkout in the trial stores, giving customers four different checkout options to choose from.

In addition to manned checkouts and self-checkouts used for basket shops, Sainsbury’s is offering a larger self-checkout option for people with small trollies. In the two stores that are piloting Sainsbury’s new shopping app, ‘SmartShop’, people can also checkout via the SmartShop handset. When fully tested and ready to roll out, SmartShop will enable customers to scan in their shopping lists at home. Once in-store, the app will show a map locating their chosen items and they will pay via their mobile phone.

Launching the project, Sainsbury’s ceo Mike Coupe said: “The majority of people still do most of their shopping in supermarkets and that’s a trend that will continue, but we need to make our supermarkets more convenient for people who visit often to do a smaller shop.

“This trial is about seeing how far we 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 checkout options to suit them is key to the trial.

“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.

Each of the six trial stores has an average of 30% more clothing, kitchen and homeware. Sainsbury’s said: ‘This is a growing part of the business and customers have said they want a greater selection of these products.’

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