Sainsbury has outlined plans to roll out the Bells and Jacksons names beyond their existing stores, coinciding with the shock announcement that Bells Stores chief executive Steven Bell has left the business.
As revealed previously in The Grocer, Sainsbury’s Convenience MD Jim McCarthy is keen to let the two chains’ names live on under the ‘Sainsbury’s at’ fascia.
This week McCarthy said the format will even be stepped up to cover all acquisitions in the north that do not fit its larger Local format. “These names are so strong in the north it makes sense for these to become our regional brands. As we enter new geographical areas we will leverage existing brands.”
Speaking after Sainsbury acquired the five-strong SL Shaw convenience operator in the south east last week (see News, p14), McCarthy said the multiple’s acquisition team was “very active”and intended to secure both multiple convenience operators as well as picking off single stores this year. But he said there were far fewer quality groups trading in the c-store sector than a year ago.
The six Nottinghamshire-based JB Beaumont stores, which were acquired in November, will begin conversion to the ‘Sainsbury’s at’ format in the next three months, to be completed by the end of year.
Meanwhile, McCarthy insisted that the chain had been talking with Bell for some time about his departure.
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