First look: Sainsbury’s 'On the Go', Mansion House

Date : 12 February 2020

Lucy Ingram

Retail Analyst

Sainsbury's has just reopened its Mansion House Local store in the City of London after a major refurbishment to create its first ‘On the Go' convenience store format that combines freshly made and prepared in-store food and drink with convenient ways to shop with Sainsbury’s and Argos.

Using data and analytics Sainsbury’s has designed the 2,200 sq ft Local to match the needs of busy city workers and ranges have been expertly tailored. The new format follows the success of Sainsbury’s recently launched neighbourhood convenience stores, which offer local residents a one-stop shop for a broad range of food and general merchandise products as well as convenient services. 

Nine more On the Go stores will open across Edinburgh, Bristol, Glasgow and London over the coming months, further testing the format in city centres. In all, Sainsbury’s has over 130 Local stores in busy urban areas that could be converted into On the Go stores.

We went to take a look at Mansion House in its opening week. Below, we share six key features from the store: 

1. Leading with food for now

The store has direct appeal to shoppers on the move, with multiple areas dedicated to food-to-go. At the entrance of the store a small bakery selection, cold drinks and snacks gondola provide a quick and easy way to grab breakfast/lunch on-the-go. Behind this, a fresh orange juicer, coffee machine and hot food-to-go stand add alternatives for shoppers. Customers can choose to eat-in – for the first time perch tables have been placed at the front of store giving customers somewhere to enjoy freshly made and baked food from an in-store pizza oven, bakery and Sushi Gourmet concession, as well as hot porridge and drinks from a self-service coffee machine and orange juicer.

Source: IGD Retail Analysis

Source: IGD Retail Analysis

A large and prominent area, adjacent to the store entrance, is dedicated to Sainsbury’s meal deal. Products from counters have also been brought to a ‘grab and go’ station at the front of the store. Changed three times a day, it will offer customers a range of food to go for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea.

Source: IGD Retail Analysis

At the back of the store there is a pizza and sushi gourmet counter. For £1 extra, shoppers can have their pizza heated up. The sushi counter offers a range of fresh sushi made on the premises.

Source: IGD Retail Analysis

2. Providing exciting options for meal-for-tonight

Source: IGD Retail Analysis

There is a large selection of ready meals throughout the store, both chilled and ambient, catering for shoppers picking up a meal-for-tonight on the way home from work.

3. Catering to everyday needs

Source: IGD Retail Analysis

The store is mainly focused on food-to-go, however there is a small selection of ambient grocery located in the centre of the store.  Almost 90% of the products available in the store have been picked specifically to meet the needs of Mansion House customers. Along with a wider selection of fresh food and floral products, some top-performing specialist and premium brands from Sainsbury’s supermarkets, such as Tony’s Chocolonely and Leon Grocery, have been added to shelves. 

4. Convenient and enjoyable shopping environment

Source: IGD Retail Analysis

The store is easy to navigate with an open layout and clear signage. There are seven of the upgraded self-service checkouts, making the experience quicker and more convenient for shoppers in a hurry.  Customers can shop till-free using the SmartShop mobile app and rapid exit checkouts offer a quicker experience if shoppers choose to use a till.  Argos and Tu clothing Click and Collect are also available.  

5. Highlighting freshness with bakery

Source: IGD Retail Analysis

A fresh bakery can be found at the back of the store, alongside the pizza and sushi counters. It mainly focuses on breakfast favourites such as croissants and items that can be eaten on-the-go.

6. Showcasing sustainability

Source: IGD Retail Analysis

The store has a recycling station next to its checkouts, making it easy for shoppers to dispose of their bottles sustainably. Signage also alerts shoppers to the wood used in the store fixtures being reclaimed, highlighting Sainsbury’s sustainability credentials.

A format to strengthen Sainsbury's position in convenience

Commenting on the new style store, Graham Biggart, Sainsbury’s director of commercial operations, said: "Convenience is a growing part of our business and we have greater capability than ever to truly tailor Local stores to local needs – across our products, formats, services and operations. Our new On the Go Mansion House Local is a great example, bringing a new kind of convenience to busy local workers with limited time and delivering the curated range and fast experience that will enable them to get exactly what they want at pace. We’re confident this format will further strengthen our market-leading position in convenience.

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