LOCATION: This site is just off the M4, on Shepiston Lane, right near Heathrow Airport. Forecourt: Banners out the front of this spacious forecourt highlight the goodies inside including a Greggs and a Subway. One banner says ’Fuel your senses’. I was not sure what that meant but afterwards googled it and it refers to an Esso/McLaren/Honda film starring Jenson Button.
FORECOURT: The pumps are smart and there is lots of space between them for easy refuelling. Fuel prices are highly competitive, especially given the Heathrow location.
Offers for Lucozade and Azera coffee feature heavily by the pumps. There are also posters on the side of the shop building promoting the offers inside. An A-board out front of the shop promotes a Greggs’ breakfast deal a bap and a coffee for £2.40. Another highlights Subway’s Chicken Teriyaki.
There’s a big Tiger Wash facility on the site including car wash, jet wash, air, water and a vacuum.
There are plenty of designated parking spaces.
Shop: The shop fascia sports the familiar Sainsbury’s Local orange and white sign plus an ’Open 24 hours’ message. But while I was filling my car with petrol, I was a bit confused about where the entrance was. My eyes were drawn to the Sainsbury’s Local and ’Open 24 hours’ messages and there seemed to be doors underneath. However, these were blocked off and the entrance was at the far left-hand side of the building where there was no fascia at all.
I’m a regular Sainsbury’s shopper but haven’t been in one of their Local stores for some time. I was wondering if I might be disappointed but the range inside this forecourt is fantastic. I reckon I could have done most of my weekly shop in this store.
The first thing you come across when you enter is fresh food: meat, fish, dairy, fruit and veg. And there is such a choice. Steak, prawns, bacon, whole chickens, fresh noodles, ready meals, pizzas, fresh pasta you name it and they had it. There was also a big chiller with own brand and New Covent Garden chilled soups as well as Rustlers paninis and burgers. Spoons and forks in a dispenser by the food-to-go chiller was a nice touch.
Availability across chilled foods was good. I spotted just one gap in the cream cakes section. And the merchandising across the store was first class.
The Greggs concession was particularly busy. In the Starbucks on the go section, there are three machines. But my visit was in January and they were still using Christmas cups.
Gondola ends are used to highlight deals with big red Great Prices signs. And prices seem to be great just a few pence more than in my local Sainsbury’s superstore.
The shop is really well laid out with wide aisles, but I couldn’t help thinking they were a bit too wide and some of the space could have been put to better use.
Prognosis: It was only last autumn that Euro Garages announced that it was to trial a partnership with Sainsbury’s, starting with the opening of a Sainsbury’s Local at its flagship Beehive site. This Shepiston Lane site was the second to open. All of the Sainsbury’s Locals are being operated by Euro Garages as part of a ’strategic franchise partnership’, and the company retains its links with Spar.
Diagnosis: People expect so much more from their shopping experiences today. Standards are rising all the time and this site definitely ticks all the boxes.
Prescription: Functional but not particularly welcoming is how I’d probably describe this site. Yes, it’s very professional and has everything you need but lacks that friendly, local feel. Perhaps the powers-that-be don’t think it needs it? I didn’t see anything in-store that shouted ’community’. Perhaps I missed it?
My only two points are that staff could be a bit friendlier and attention should be given to space management as there seemed a lot of wasted space as you entered the store. And, of course, sort out the confusing entrance!