LONDON, 2014-9-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Sainsbury’s opens the first combined convenience shop and community pharmacy on a hospital site. The new store at Guy’s Hospital near London Bridge will employ 25 local people and offer improved choice, as well as a broad range of convenience goods for patients and visitors using the hospital. It will be open from 7am to 11pm, seven days a week.
Sainsbury’s has been providing a pharmacy service to outpatients at Guy’s Hospital and St Thomas’ Hospital since 2012 but this will be the first-time any retailer has combined a pharmacy and convenience store in a hospital setting.
The retailer now runs over 200 convenience shops across London employing 6,000 people. It is planning to open up to 30 new stores in the Capital in the next six months creating a further 500 jobs (March 2015).
As part of its expansion plans Sainsbury’s opened a convenience training centre in Brixton earlier this year to train 700 convenience managers and team leaders.
Sainsbury’s Locals now account for 27% of the UK’s convenience market growth, with sales of £1.8 billion and year-on-year growth of 19%. The company is currently opening about two convenience stores every week and serves six million customers each week.
Simon Twigger, Sainsbury’s Convenience Managing Director, said: “We are delighted to be opening our latest store in London. We know people want to shop locally and frequently, and that is why our stores are conveniently located in the places that people want and need them. We have a strong presence in London – it’s where our convenience business started, and our Local stores are going from strength to strength. Not only do they provide choice for local people, but they boost the local economy, and provide jobs.”
Jat Sahota, Head of Pharmacy and Healthcare at Sainsbury’s, said: “We have over 270 pharmacies and are always looking for new ways to serve our customers better. The new Guy’s store is a great example. It will provide hospital workers, patients and people visiting the hospital with a wide range of healthy products, and they can pick up prescriptions as well. It is a format we are keen to roll out to other NHS Trusts.”