Fighting talk from Sainsbury’s boss in store design overhaul

Sainsbury’s is overhauling the design and layout of six of its stores with mobile technology set to play a big role in helping it stand out from the discounters.

Chief executive Mike Coupe said he wanted to “reinvent” the supermarket and “push the boundaries” of shopping.

Details of the plans have been kept vague, but Coupe said new self-scan technology will be introduced to allow shoppers to pay via mobile devices while a more radical layout change will see popular products including fresh food moved to the front of the stores.

“Our challenge is to reinvent the superstore for the next generation, for the future,” he said.

“My measure of long-term success would be how and when we change the dynamic of our superstore business. We are certainly looking to push the boundaries of what we might do with those formats in the future.”

Sainsbury’s has already committed to creating over 480 speciality digital roles as it revealed plans for a new digital lab and tech hub to test technology in April this year.

The investment came as part of the supermarket's ongoing efforts to save £500m over three years. These savings are being ploughed back into areas such as digital and technology in order to help the retailer ready itself for the future.

It has steadily lost market share to discounters such as Aldi and Lidl, leading to falling profits. Earlier this year, it recorded its first loss in a decade noting a pre-tax loss of £72m for the year to 15 March.

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Jennifer Faull

Jen Faull is deputy news editor at The Drum with a remit to cover the latest developments in the retail and FMCG sectors. Based in London, she has interviewed major business figures including top marketers from Mondelez, Unilever, Tesco, and Lidl.

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