Published: 10:27, 08 June 2021
| Updated: 10:28, 08 June 2021
Sainsbury's has revamped a high street store to offer more products and cater to a trend of longer shopping trips seen during the pandemic.
The supermarket giant has launched a new 'neighbourhood hub' shop at the existing Sainsbury's Local branch in Whitstable's town centre.
Neighbourhood hubs are "food-led" and offer a larger selection - including more meat and fish, vegetarian and vegan options, new meal kit ranges, flower bouquets and cosmetics.
Branches are larger than Sainsbury's Local stores and the scheme aims to adapt to longer shopping trips - a change in customer behaviour noticed by bosses since Covid hit.
Bosses hope the renovation work and new store offerings will provide customers with greater convenience and choice.
Punters can also pick up products from Argos while they are shopping for groceries by entering their collection number in-store.
Sainsbury’s has launched seven stores with its new neighbourhood hub offer across the country.
The company’s property director, Patrick Dunne, said: "Our newest hub stores look great and I’m sure our customers will enjoy doing more of their shopping closer to home.
"We’re continually investing in our store network and adapting our estate to ensure it best reflects our customers’ changing shopping habits and local demand.
"Our neighbourhood hubs have proved extremely popular and that has really motivated the team to open more for our customers through a combination of acquiring new sites and upgrading current stores."
The Whitstable branch opened in the high street after it was announced in 2015 it would move into the former Budgens shop.
Sainsbury’s will open about 18 more neighbourhood hub stores over the next few years, in addition to upgrading some of its current convenience stores into this new format.
Woodhall Spa was the pilot for the new format and went live in 2019, with Bishop’s Waltham and Midhurst opening in November last year and refurbished Melbourne Derby Road and Billingshurst in March 2021.
Whitstable High Street and Penwortham were upgraded in May.