Sainsbury’s unveils new “experimental” superstore concept at Selly Oak

Sainsbury's Selly Oak

Sainsbury’s has opened the doors to its brand new Selly Oak superstore near Birmingham today, but it is more than just another standard branch for the Big 4 grocer.

Ten years in the making, the 67,000sq ft store is a pilot for Sainsbury’s new experimental format and features elements that make it somewhat of a hybrid supermarket and department store.

The new concept hosts a food court, the retailer’s first Oasis concession, a revamped beauty and fragrance section, fully integrated Habitat and Argos stores, as well as the standard supermarket.

The Food Market section is the first-ever where customers can dine-in at Sainsbury’s, thanks to the 180-seat food court area.

Customer can also order from a selection of fast-food concessions – such as Wok Street, Little India Kitchen, Fresh Kitchen, Sushi Gourmet and West Cornwall Pasty Company – along with a larger ready-to-eat, food-to-go range prepared in-store, such as baguettes and self-serve coffee.

Sainsbury's Selly Oak

Sainsbury's Selly Oak

Sainsbury's Selly Oak

In terms of fashion, the new store carries Sainsbury’s own-brand Tu range as well as the first Oasis concession.

Four other stores around the UK will soon have Oasis concessions as well by spring next year, as part a deal that boosts Sainsbury’s fashion credentials beyond being just a supermarket brand.

It also makes it the first time that customers can access Oasis in a supermarket setting.

Jewellery and watches from Argos will also be available directly inside the fashion area.

Additionally, the store’s Argos and Habitat concessions are fully integrated into the supermarket and are being displayed in room settings.

It’s the first time these retail brands, which Sainsbury’s acquired in 2016, have been integrated in such a way as they are usually sectioned off as separate units in other Sainsbury’s stores.

Sainsbury's Selly OakMeanwhile, Sainsbury’s has stepped up its beauty offer in light of news that it was diving deeper into the sector.

As such, the Selly Oak store features a new and revamped fragrance and beauty section that offers a number of premium brands in-store.

“Our new Sainsbury’s at Selly Oak has been 10 years in the making and it’s wonderful to see it come to fruition, providing our customers with a fantastic new store,” store manager Tom Belay said.

“Our team of colleagues – many of whom are new to Sainsbury’s – have worked really hard to get the store ready and are now excited to welcome and serve customers. Sainsbury’s distinctive food is at the heart of our store and we hope people will try out our new Food Market.

“It’s also exciting to be a test bed for some new formats in beauty and wellness, Argos and Habitat, as well as introducing popular brands such as Oasis.

“We’ve always been part of the Selly Oak community and we look forward to continuing and strengthening that relationship into the future.”

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  1. Went there, it was a mishmash, nice fancy spanking new building but with the same type of staff who worked at the old store, e.g. kept waiting at the sparkling new cafe, (sorry coffee stop in the food market dahling) with no smile or hello, can I help you, while the staff chitchatted to their mates before deigning to serve you. Talk about all fur coat and no knickers!

  2. It’s a supermarket, they should stick to what they are good at and that’s food, unfortunately they seem to be struggling with that too!

  3. I went there today and I have to agree about the cafe. There was one person serving the food which meant the queue got longer with customers not happy about the wait. There are no price lists up for the main food or what the food is on offer. The idea of waiting then getting your food then having to wait again to pay and if you want hot drinks you have to pay then queue again to get your drinks. By this time food is cold. It will be a long time before I eat again in this sainsburys. The staff were not friendly at all and very slow serving.

  4. I visited my new Sainsbury in Selly Oak. I had a fantastic experience, very friendly staff
    Lots of choices. It’s nice and spacious. Very friendly staff and the management team.
    Good luck.

    • Don’t understand why people come on and complain, go elsewhere if you don’t like it! Older people might not understand the supermarket/department set up and the days of the butcher knowing your name are long gone! Going again tomorrow, love it!!

  5. I went yesterday, and thought it was brilliant….. can get almost anything under one roof, the staff were friendly, and it is a store to be proud of.. Loved it..

  6. Truly the most abysmal store that could be imagined. Birmingham has a severe problem of air pollution causing many deaths and other illness. And what do Sainsbury’s do about it? This new store is an absolute disgrace. Anyone who does not come by car first has to walk considerable distance along obnoxiously busy toxic roads full of death-metal. (It is nowhere near the key Bristol Road buses as the previous store was.) But even when the non-motorist “gets there”, they then have to walk through a huge further length of toxic car park full of fuming motorists not even themselves getting anywhere fast (basically 0 mph). Why the four-letter word did not these four letter words put the store next to the road, so that non-poisoning visitors would not have to walk through that dangerous stink-zone. Sainsbury’s should hang their heads in shame at this disgusting new store, along with its architects, who should win a prize for abysmalness of work.

  7. This store is fine for motorists but for pedestrians it is terrible. You have to walk a fair way to get near the store and then through a busy car park to get to the actual store. I will try the one in Northfield cause the bus stop is right outside.

  8. Would have been useful if they could have spent some of those ten years of planning to think about access to the retail park. As previous poster said it is very inconvenient for public transport users but is also a nightmare for car users as the entire retail park is accessed by a single lane off an already insanely busy and poorly thought out roundabout. Took 30 mins to get from parking space to front of queue for island then had to take my life into my own hands and break numerous parts of the highway code to get over the roundabout. Will not be returning

  9. Agree about the car park. Parking is fine, but getting out again is quite a different matter. Even at off-peak times this can take ages. Heaven knows what it would be like on a Saturday afternoon – I won’t be finding out any time soon!

  10. Useless for non car drivers, no bus stops by the retail park & cannot access park from Bristol Rd. Architects should hold heads in shame & what’s going to happen when there is a Next sale? There is also the science park due to be built, another 200 cars! When I went last wk, noticed that a lot of prices had gone up… pay for the ridiculously inaccessible store. Won’t be using it again

  11. It’s horrible. Coming by car means endless queues, particularly when leaving, and it’s difficult of access from bus routes, unlike the old store. Then it’s all on the first floor, so if you’ve a trolley you have to use these travelators, to which the trolleys stick. They take ages and are really awkward when you reach the top or bottom. You have to start moving your trolley at exactly the right moment. On my first visit, a couple of days after opening, an elderly man was jolted by the sudden release of his loaded trolley at the bottom and fell over, needing first aid treatment. When you get to the food area, which is what most of us are there for, the way things are arranged is complicated and has no logic I can see. Sainsburys has always been weird about this, and as ever the cream is some way from the milk. The division between food and non-food is peculiar. I spent some time going round the new housewares section looking for a washing up tidy, only to find them and other smaller kitchen items among the food aisles. Most awkward is that cleaning materials have been relegated to an odd faraway corner. I spent ten minutes looking for some Toilet Duck. The only improvement over the old store is that there aren’t as many stock-outs. In the past a special offer meant an empty space. Presumably the storage area is larger. But it’s a nightmare. If it’s an experiment, the sooner it’s concluded the better.

  12. The place is like a bung. smells like old rubber, B.O and smelly feet combined.
    Not to menttion it’s a nightmare to walk to with no bus access. The pollution is off the radar too, felt as though I was about to vomit while wlking up that hill.
    Think I will stick with aldi.

  13. I’ve visited and am quite impressed. As I don’t drive, it’s rather difficult to get to by bus, especially since the recent bus route reorganisation. Is there any possibility you could ask the transport people whether a nearby bus stop could be provided?

  14. Access to this store is indeed very time consuming and difficult (if one is not 100% fit) for people using public transportation, seems the planners did not care for people with limited income and who use public transportation. Furthermore, one needs to carry heavy grocery bags to the bus stop, which is pretty far.

    • Honestly Ian you have really saved time on my day, i was looking at all these shops and thinking “yeah but do they sell carrots?!”. Your comment has enlightened me to the true path of carrot buying. My grandad Fucking needs his carrots because he is a navy seal and carrots help him see in the dark. AND THAT’S JUST A FACT BAM SHAPIROED


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