Sainsbury’s has opened the doors of two new stores with a fresh new Neighbourhood Hub format, less than a week after announcing plans to roll out around 18 hub stores over the next three years as part of its plan to put food back at the heart of the business. The new stores in Bishop’s Waltham and Midhurst are two of only three of their kind across the retailer’s estate following the success of the 2019 pilot in Woodhall Spa. The vision for Neighbourhood Hub stores is to be the best “in neighbourhood” one-stop offer, with product choice and community at heart. The new stores also cater to the shift seen throughout the pandemic across customer behaviour towards longer shopping missions.
These new stores are a food-led extension of Sainsbury’s renowned convenience offer and are set up to serve longer missions due to their size and location. Key features of the new stores include Argos and Tu clothing collection points, value-added food proposition with coffee-to-go and fresh juicers, broad product range, meat-free and plant-based options, a variety of scratch cooking ingredients, floral and gifting, pet and household supplies, cosmetics and integrated beauty.
Up until today customers in Bishop’s Waltham and Midhurst had to travel to get everything they need for a weekly shop, with 11 kilometres to a superstore for residents in Midhurst and eight kilometres for Bishop’s Waltham residents to get to their closest supermarket, Sainsbury’s Hedge End. Bishop’s Waltham Neighbourhood Hub store is around twice the size of a Sainsbury’s Local with Midhurst’s Neighbourhood Hub around three times the size of a standard convenience store. Both Bishop’s Waltham and Midhurst Neighbourhood Hub stores will trade 07:00 – 20:00 Monday through to Saturday with 10:00 – 16:00 on Sunday. Bishop’s Waltham Neighbourhood Hub store is 9,113ft² and Sainsbury’s Midhurst is 12,168ft².
Patrick Dunne, Sainsbury’s Director of Property said: “These new stores reflect our strategy to put food first and commitment to our customers to provide them with convenient access to delicious and great value food. We’ve been overwhelmed with local support since announcing our plans to open these stores, we know the demand is there and we’re confident these stores will thrive. We’ve undertaken an extensive refurbishment to get them ready and know they will provide residents with a safe, fresh and convenient shopping destination. We take great pride in building and fitting out stores to suit the local community and these stores are an example of how we flex our estate to ensure we deliver for our customers. We look forward to rolling out more of these exciting new style stores and bringing convenience to local neighbourhoods across the country.”
Graham Biggart, Sainsbury’s Director of Commercial Operations said: “Our Neighbourhood Hub stores have the community at heart and offer our customers the opportunity to complete their shopping closer to home. We have set up these stores to offer the most relevant products and services our customers need to fulfil their daily needs, including longer shopping missions and a mix of great-value Food and General Merchandise, together with the convenience of Argos and Tu Clothing click & collect. At Sainsbury’s, we’re constantly striving to make the experience for our customers as convenient as possible and we’re confident we have curated the ideal solution for these communities. We know how important it is now more than ever to have access to everything you need close to home. These stores give customers convenience and great choice alongside Sainsbury’s renowned service.”