Sainsbury's opens largest store amid expansion plans

Supermarket chain Sainsbury's opened the doors to its largest store today under plans to increase its footprint in the UK.

The supermarket, in Crayford, near Dartford, Kent, is more than 100,000 square feet, and will dedicate more than half its space to food and drink products.



The retailer also opened its largest ever store in Scotland at Darnley today, which is 90,000 sq ft, and last week it opened its largest ever store in Wales, at Newport, which is 76,000 sq ft.



The three new stores - totalling 266,000 sq ft - will create 520 new jobs and come under Sainsbury's plans to expand its shop floor space by an extra 2.5 million sq ft in the two years to March 2011.



Sainsbury said the new Crayford store had a number of "groundbreaking" environmental features including the world first's use of technology which heats the store using natural energy captured through boreholes buried hundreds of metres beneath the ground.



The Crayford store will offer food, drink, and home products.



It will have the supermarket chain's first baby and pet worlds, as well as home entertainment, and the supermarket's first O2 mobile phone concession and clothing range.



Sainsbury's posted an easing in sales in its last interim update in June, with like-for-like sales excluding petrol slipping to 1.1% in the 12 weeks to June 12.



The supermarket has identified non-food sales and smaller convenience-style stores as key areas of growth.

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