Supermarket giant Sainsbury's has made several efforts to get a foot in on the major road network. As of 2019, it is currently being introduced to several of EG Group's largest services, under the trial name Sainsbury's On the go.
The new partnership is focused on its food-to-go line, which is in existing stores under the same brand name. These stores also feature a Starbucks on the Go machine. It is another sign that one of the main focuses of supermarket retailing is now on convenience stores serving people in a rush.
After launching several of these stores in spare units, generally at former Little Chef sites, EG Group have now introduced the 'Sainsbury's On the go' name to the main shopping area of several petrol stations that they run.
It had been announced that each store would receive a Krispy Kreme stand too but this is no longer the case.
In March 2020, the first two Sainsbury's On the go store closures happened at Alfreton and Talke, with staff being made redundant. Given the complicated news cycle, it is perhaps unfair to speculate on why this decision has been made.
Sainsbury's and Major Roads
Previously, following the success of M&S Simply Food, Welcome Break trialled a branch of Sainsbury's' existing convenience brand Sainsbury's Local at Birchanger Green in 2006. This was closed and they later worked with the more upmarket Waitrose.
Sainsbury's Local then had a partnership with Euro Garages, but again this didn't last long and they became Spar. The new partnership is with the same company but the offering is more similar to the Spar model.
Until the 1990s, the Sainsbury's business model included building large supermarkets close to major roads. Despite this, none of them became official service stations, although customers used some of them as unofficial ones.
- Amesbury (A303)
- Bangor (A5/A55)
- Bilbrough Top (A64) (eastbound only)
- Marston Moretaine (A421)
- Podimore (A303)
- Shrewsbury (A5)
- Thorpe on the Hill (A46)
- Thrapston (A14/A45)
- Warminster (A36/A350)
Sainsbury's has been removed from the following signposted service areas: