Sainsbury is nearing the end of a revamp of its former Savacentre hypermarkets with the chain’s kingsize Merton store set to get the latest facelift.
Notices at the tired 100,000 sq ft store have gone up showing artists’ impressions of plush new concourses lined with the fascias of potential new retail partners within the centre.
No tenants have been signed up yet, although images include a mock-up of a ‘Mext’ clothing store fascia. How this would sit so near to Sainsbury’s own Tu clothing range in the refurbished supermarket remains unclear.
A spokeswoman said £30m would be invested in the Merton site, which is in desperate need of attention. During a recent rainstorm, customers were forced to step around buckets catching water leaking from the roof above the concourse at the top of the escalators. The spokewoman said: “We are undertaking a massive programme of improvements to upgrade and modernise the store for customers, and provide some complementary non-food retail.
“This will totally transform the store, both visually due to external refurbishment and in terms of layout, which will make the store a more convenient and pleasant place to shop.”
Plans include dropping the Savacentre name at Merton in favour of Sainsbury’s and revamping the store’s meat, fish, delicatessen and bakery offerings. Work is expected to be completed by next Easter.
Refits have been completed at seven other former Savacentre sites, while investment is now being considered at the chain’s Washington store in Tyne & Wear.
New PayPoint retail director Mike Igoe has admitted there are problems with the margins retailers are getting from the payment solutions service. Speaking at the Botterills Convenience Stores 10th annual conference, Igoe said he would concentrate on improving PayPoint’s retail strategy. “We want to be a partner that adds value to a retailer’s business.”

Asda has compiled a business case to extend Asda Live, its in-store television concept. It launched trials in two stores a year ago, and initially indicated a roll-out was possible after six months. The scheme stalled, but a spokeswoman said the business case is now being considered although a decision on the scale of the roll-out has yet to be made.

Grampian Country Foods could be subjected to strike action by staff over the closure of their final salary scheme. A T&G spokesman said the ballot would close on Friday (September 16) with a result expected three days later. Supply to major supermarkets could be affected by the action.

Britvic joint owner Carlyle Group, the private equity giant, has emerged as a favourite to buy the £1.5bn Cadbury Schweppes business. It is reported to have hired former PepsiCo executive Nish Kankiwala to lead its bid.

Thresher Group has confirmed plans for the roll-out of its revamped Wine Rack format to source specialist wines priced between £8 and £15. Nine stores have been initially earmarked for the revamp, in locations such as London and Tunbridge Wells. “Wine Rack represents the final stage in the transformation of Thresher Group into Thresher, Local and Wine Rack,” said CEO Roger Whiteside.
Simon Mowbray
Paypoint pledge
Asda looks to live
Grampian ballot
Carlyle favourite
Thresher revamp