Sainsbury will have opened 24 stores in the month leading up to December 25 in a last-minute dash to be ready for the Christmas trading period.
The rush comes as Sainsbury begins public consultation on its biggest UK development - a £300m, 22ha regeneration in Selly Oak, Birmingham.
All nine Safeway stores that were acquired from Morrisons will have been refurbished and rebranded by Thursday (December 8), following the opening of its Morden store in London. The launches, which are in addition to the 14 stores it acquired from Morrisons last year, give Sainsbury an extra 162,500 sq ft of new retail space.
Eleven of its ‘orphan supermarkets’, which were identified across the country by chief executive Justin King in October last year as neglected and under-invested stores, will have re-opened just in time for Christmas. Six have been refurbished and the other five have been extended, adding a further 62,000 sq ft of space.
Stores in Northern Ireland - Coleraine, Armagh, Ballymena and Sprucefield - will also all be reopening by Thursday.