Sainsbury’s Solihull

Source: Oakes Studios

Parm Nijar was talking to Lilith Foster-Collins

Store: Sainsbury’s Marshall Lake
Store manager: Parm Nijar
Opened: 1990
Size: 58,275 sq ft
Market share: 11.15%
Population: 465,517
Grocery spend: £11,478,710.07
Spend by household: £65.32
Competitors: 74
Nearest rivals: Aldi 0.6 miles, Asda 0.8 miles, Co-op 0.4 miles, Iceland 0.7 miles, Lidl 0.2 miles, M&S 0.2 miles, Morrisons 2.1 miles, Sainsbury’s 1.0 miles, Tesco 1.3 miles, Waitrose 1.7 miles

Source: CACI. For more info visit Notes: Shopper profiling is measured using Grocery Acorn shopper segmentation. Store catchment data (market share, population, expenditure, spend by household, competition) is within a five-mile radius.
For CACI’s shopper segmentation of the other stores we visited this week see the online report at

Tell me about your career at Sainsbury’s? I’ve always been in retail and I’ve been with Sainsbury’s for 23 years. At Sainsbury’s I’ve worked in various roles such as HR manager, area manager and most recently at this store at Marshall Lake. As with a lot of people in retail, I worked my way up through the organisation through cohorts and development schemes. It’s just brilliant to work for an organisation that supports colleagues and leadership development.

How has Sainsbury’s changed in that time? Sainsbury’s adapts every year. We’ve gained the online business and we’re very much a multi-channel business now, whereas 23 years ago it was store-based.

What’s the store like? It’s a great store. We’ve got fantastic colleagues who are really passionate about how they serve our customers. We want to give our customers a great end-to-end experience in store, so within Marshall Lake we have Argos, a petrol station, a sushi bar, a café – quite vast add-ons.

Could you tell me about your customers? We’re in quite a diverse area. We have lots of different ethnicities in the area and we see our world foods sell very well, especially during occasions such as Diwali and Eid celebrations.

What’s been selling well in store? We expect things like ice lollies and ice cream to be selling well because it’s summer, but actually with the poor weather in recent weeks I’ve seen an uptake in customers buying into things like ready meals and pizzas more than expected. With the women’s football that’s been going on, we’re also seeing customers leaning into quick and easy meal options.

How do you deal with these unexpected sales from a stock perspective? I think it’s about adapting to the need. We have a plan and the plan might change. We prioritise as required. If the weather isn’t so great, we’ll be looking at the lines that are selling better.

Your store achieved a full basket in this week’s shop. How do you keep availability high? The important thing is to have great inventory routines and replenishment prioritisation. It’s also about using the space we have available – so when we have, say, extra drinks delivered in due to hot weather then we would prioritise that and utilize the space. We have some areas that are restricted because of HFSS rules so we have that space to use.

What do you think is behind Sainsbury’s recent excellent service? For me it’s all about that focus. When we talk about service it’s about everything we do for our customers. We are really passionate about being an inclusive retailer and providing great service to all our customers, no matter what their needs are. As a leadership team within Sainsbury’s, we are really bringing that to life more than we ever have.

What are you doing in your store to promote good service? For me it starts with our colleagues. It’s about engaging the team to ensure colleagues understand what our customers are feeling and how to make their experience great.

What’s your favourite product? My favourite line would be the Well Fired Loaf. It just has that different taste, definitely one of my favourites. And it sells really well in store.