Julian Hunt
The rebirth of the Sainsbury's Savacentre brand has taken another step forward with the opening of two more stores.
The first has opened in Wigan as part of a six-store trial of the new Savacentre format.
Sainsbury will not reveal the location of the other stores, and says it is too early to comment on the trials, which are expected to run until the new year.
All stores involved will range in size from 31,000 sq ft to 70,000 sq ft, and will be opened following refurbishments and extensions to existing sites.
But the multiple's confidence in its new format is illustrated by a separate decision to invest in a new-build Savacentre in Ashton Moss, near Oldham, which has just opened for business.
Until May this year, the Savacentre brand had been earmarked for the chop.
Now the brand will be used to deliver a stronger value proposition under the supermarket chain's Making Life Taste Better For Less banner.
The new store format is designed to appeal to family shoppers.
The first outlet to be rebadged as part of the Savacentre format - a 35,000 sq ft store in Northfield, Birmingham, which re-opened in May - is going to be a winner, according to research compiled exclusively for The Grocer by analysts CACI.
CACI's research shows it has the potential to become the 13th highest turnover generator in the Sainsbury estate.
CACI also says the store has the potential to produce sales densities among the top 10 of Sainsbury outlets - even though it is only half the size of more traditional Savacentres.
As well as a value oriented food offer, Savacentres will carry a strong non-food range.
At Northfield almost a third of the shop floor is dedicated to non-food. This the largest proportion in any Sainsbury store of this size.
Meanwhile, the multiple has opened its latest Local c-store on a railway station concourse.
The 3,500 sq ft store at Manchester Piccadilly station will serve more than 60,000 customers a week.
>> See the CACI research in our new Insight section, starting on page 19.

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