With over 15% of the UK grocery market share, Sainsbury’s is one of the most popular and well-established supermarket chains in the country.
We have a growing relationship with the grocery heavyweight having worked with them since 2019. Currently, we have a framework agreement in place for delivering their internal and external signage solutions, covering a range of applications including brand standards, petrol filling stations, cafes and back of house as well as the Argos and Habitat store-in-stores across every region in the UK.
One of the most prestigious projects we have worked on was at their superstore in Hempstead Valley. Sainsbury’s made a multi-million-pound investment in the store as part of a wider programme to improve the customer journey from the moment shoppers drive into the car park to the minute, they head out the door. By creating a more vigorous environment, the goal was to provide a more uplifting, unique experience for shoppers where signage played a huge part.
By introducing a more ‘market style’ feel to their stores; enhancing their non-food offer to achieve a convincing ‘high-street’ look; and by creating better areas for employees to feel more positive, inspired, and comfortable, the design intent was to not only to make stores a place where customers love to shop but an environment where colleagues love to work.
Hempstead Valley was the testbed site before rollout to other stores across the country. Our brief was to develop new concept signage in line with store improvements by working alongside the Sainsbury’s design/format team. They gave us the blue-sky ideas and our design team then developed those concepts into something that could be practically built. In other words, we brought their ideas to life.
Over a 3-month period, where the store remained open to the public, we designed, manufactured, and installed signage such as main building identification signs, car park wayfinding, click and collect branding signs, bulkhead signs, aisle boards and wall graphics to ensure ‘White space’ surfaces or gaps were filled with colour, texture, and illustration. In addition to signage solutions, we also provided other branded products such as lighting rafts with complementary graphics. All these contributions were designed to make stores more welcoming, characterful, and easier for customers to navigate.
One of our challenges was to install the petrol price totems located both inside and outside of the store. The client wanted to be able to remotely update the digital screens with the ever-changing prices, but we hit a problem when internet signals in store were not strong enough to cope. However, our technical experts were quick to ensure signal boosters and receivers were installed to overcome the issue and we all felt relieved when the plan came together.
On this project, our most valuable contribution was acting as the conduit to bring the project together as we worked with the Sainsbury’s design team who had a creative vision they wanted brought to life and the main contractor who wanted to meet their deadlines. As experts in both design and project management we managed to satisfy both parties without too many compromises.
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