Sainsbury’s is trialling a supply deal with leading independent convenience operator SimplyFresh, The Grocer has learned.
Currently limited to one store, the tie-up, which began this week, sees Sainsbury’s supplying around 2,000 own-label and branded convenience products to the SimplyFresh Old Oak Lane store in Willesden Junction, North London. The products include food to go, fresh produce such as fruit, vegetables, meat and fish and a host of other grocery lines.
SimplyFresh currently operates more than 80 stores and has a supply agreement with Costcutter. The Grocer understands this deal runs until 2022.
Sainsbury’s, which has ambitions to grow its wholesale business, said it would be reviewing the store offer as the Oak Lane trial progressed, and that it would use the results and customer feedback to inform its next steps.
The retailer did not comment on whether it hoped to secure a supply agreement for the whole SimplyFresh estate, or look to invest in the business. It is currently trialling supply deals with WH Smith and Euro Garages.
“We’ve taken learnings from lots of trials and partnerships to make sure we’re offering SimplyFresh customers a great range of fantastic quality Sainsbury’s products,” said a Sainsbury’s spokeswoman.
“The partnership is part of Sainsbury’s strategy to grow our business and offer even more customers great quality and choice, whenever and wherever they choose to shop.”
SimplyFresh CEO Tim Chalk said: SimplyFresh is committed to meeting and exceeding customer expectations. This trial will provide valuable feedback on how we continue this in the future. All other SimplyFresh and SimplyLocal stores continue to be supplied by Costcutter Supermarkets Group.”
SimplyFresh was founded in 2009 by Kash Khera and his brother Sukhjit. Chalk joined the business in 2018 in order to focus on the retailer’s strategy and future growth plans. At the time Kash Khera moved to become COO looking after the day to day running of the business.
A spokeswoman for Costcutter said: “We currently supply over 80 SimplyFresh stores and have been in close contact with SimplyFresh about their decision to commence this individual store trial. Our leading wholesale supply offer and expert business support remains in place and unchanged for SimplyFresh retailers outside of this trial and we look forward to continuing to work in partnership with them.”