Published: 14:43, 18 November 2020
| Updated: 16:11, 18 November 2020
A new market-inspired layout will greet shoppers returning to a Kent Sainsbury's store – the first of its type in the country.
The store at Hempstead Valley in Gillingham is home to the company's new 'Fresh Food Market' design following a multi-million overhaul.
Sainsbury's has released new pictures behind the scenes of the market-style presentation of fresh fruit and vegetables.
The store also features new signage, decorative images, lighting, fixtures and a renewed focus on celebrating British produce.
Work on the Hempstead Valley store started back in June and is expected to be finished in February in what is one of Sainsbury's biggest single investments in store improvements this year.
The pilot using the company's new layout will feed into research about changes to other Sainsbury's stores throughout the country which it is planning to roll out across its 1,400 outlets in the UK.
Refurbishment continues at the Hempstead Valley store which promises a brighter superstore with a more spacious layout and more products and services on offer.
The cafe has been upgraded as well as introducing a new look bakery, hot pizza counter, patisserie counter, food-to-go hub, beauty department and florist sections.
It will also include a new Argos store and updated Tu clothing and Home section.
The petrol station is due to open within the next few weeks after having a revamp of its own.
Graham Biggart, Sainsbury’s commercial operations director, said: “At Sainsbury’s we put food first and our new Fresh Food Market is a great example of what we are doing to delight our customers in our stores and showcase our brilliant products.
"We have created an environment that is both exciting and easier for our customers to shop our delicious, nutritious and great value food.
"We have also designed the Fresh Food Market to be operationally simpler for colleagues to replenish and maintain.
"We’re looking forward to hearing what our customers and colleagues think of the new format and design as we prepare to roll out more changes across our stores in the future.”
Patrick Dunne, Sainsbury’s Property Director said: “Hempstead Valley marks the start of a new style superstore that gives our customers the product choice they want alongside the convenience we know they need.
"I’m confident the new look store will appeal to residents and be a true shopping destination. We’ve proudly served the local community for over 40 years and this significant investment will ensure we’re best placed to serve the community long into the future.
"We appreciate the patience of the community as we continue to redevelop their local store and I thank everyone that has been working on this project over the last few months to ensure we can continue to trade throughout the works.”