Sainsbury’s insists it is making solid progress in its plans to repurpose the 6% of shop floor space it no longer requires for grocery but admits it hasn’t yet got all the answers.
CFO John Rogers said this week that Sainsbury’s had identified around 1.5m sq ft of space that it no longer needs for food. This equates to around 6% of the retailer’s total selling space and Rogers said Sainsbury’s will be able to fill around half of this space with non-food.
He said Sainsbury’s is still working on the other half although the thinking is currently focused around letting space to other retailer’s such as Argos, Jessop’s and HSS Hire. The tool hire operator opened a concession in Sainsbury’s Stanway store in Essex last week.
“We are doing some exciting stuff but we are yet to find the silver bullet<” admitted Rogers.
In terms of non- food Sainsbury’s has rolled out a new high-street style clothing offer into more than 100 stores. The retailer is using mannequins for the first time and arranging clothing by outfit rather than product type. It’s new look homeware departments owe more to John Lewis or Debenhams than a normal supermarket.
Meanwhile Rogers also revealed that Sainsbury’s is set to unlock around £150m of profits from two mixed-use developments in London. He said Sainsbury’s will make £90m through selling off 440 luxury flats built as part of its new store in Fulham and a further £60m from a similar scheme near Battersea Power Station.
These two schemes are reaching fruition this year having taken around seven years to develop and Rogers said it was expecting further benefits from similar projects In Whitechapel and Ladbroke Grove that are still at least five years away from completion.