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Sainsbury’s Tu, London

The supermarket has given its clothing brand Tu more space than ever at its Sydenham store in south London.

Heralded by Sainsbury’s chief executive Justin King as the supermarket’s “star performer”, clothing brand Tu has been given an overhaul – and its biggest selling space to date – at the Sydenham store in south-east London.

Tu is so important to Sainsbury’s that it has been awarded the only window space at the supermarket.

On entering the store, Tu’s 12,500sq ft space is instantly visible and dominates from the right-hand side of the 90,000sq ft supermarket from front to back.

Marketing manager Josie Cartridge says the aim was to single out the clothing brand, while maintaining its credentials as a supermarket. “We wanted to drive more customers to the clothing section and to deliver a credible clothing offer, but not in a separate shop-in-shop format,” she explains.

The result is a spacious, well-lit and easy-to-navigate area, with clear views of all categories, dominated by womenswear.

Space, height and graphics are the main areas of focus. Fixtures vary in height over three levels and panels at either end of each shelf are used to alert customers to new product offers or key messages, ranging from a £50 wool blend coat to Sainsbury’s fair trade credentials.

Product is split into fashion stories, with “Get the Look” signage to alert customers to ready-made outfits or product stories.

Walking up from the womenswear area, customers hit the kidswear department and the “main square” in the middle of the clothing sector, where larger aisles and lower fixtures allow shoppers to see all the way across Sainsbury’s food offer too.

“We’ve invested a lot in space and this area offers great visibility across the supermarket,” says Cartridge.

“Customers have commented on how spacious the aisles are. It’s a trade-off for us but it’s easier for customers to shop.”

Part of the kidswear area is used to promote seasonal product, with Halloween outfits on show. Accessories also feature in the main square, with lingerie taking up the back wall, where a geometric print wallpaper winds into the fitting rooms.

“We’re very proud of our fitting rooms,” says Cartridge. And so she should be. The six changing rooms are spacious and mirrors allow customers a 360-degree view of their outfits, while metal hooks on wood-finish slats add a sense of luxury to the environment.

The service desk, which was previously used to be next to the fitting rooms, has been moved to the back of the store, near to the menswear offer, so it is in a better position to help customers, it also has dedicated staff in each product area.

After rolling out the new concept to six Sainsbury’s stores throughout the UK in the summer, the supermarket is forging ahead with a further six stores that are awaiting refurbishment this autumn.

Sainsbury’s Tu Southend Lane, Sydenham, London SE26 4PU

Essentials:
12,500 sq ft:
the size of Tu’s space
90,000 sq ft: the total size of the Sainsbury’s store
12: Number of Sainsbury’s supermarkets to receive the new Tu concept this year

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