Sainsbury’s trials huge new partnership – Carluccio’s restaurants to appear in some stores

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Sainsbury’s is changing the customer shopping experience as it is set to launch Carluccio’s restaurants in three of its stores. Carluccio’s is a restaurant chain serving authentic Italian cuisine.

Customers will soon be able to have coffee, lunch, or dinner at a Carluccio’s restaurant straight after – or before – doing their weekly shop at Sainsbury’s.

The supermarket and restaurant chain have collaborated to test out a new initiative in three Sainsbury’s stores.

If successful, the retailer hopes that it can work with Carluccio’s to roll out more eateries in other stores across the country.

The first Carluccio’s concept store to open will be a coffee shop in Sainsbury’s St Albans superstore.

Named Caffè Carluccio’s, the branch will be big enough to fit 45 customers and both eat-in and takeaway options will be available.

Despite being a coffee shop and not a restaurant, Caffè Carluccio’s will offer traditional Italian treats, such as biscotti, cantucci, and gianduiotti chocolates, as well as a selection of coffees.

This Carluccio’s branch will be opening on June 3.

Although an exact date has not yet been announced, another of the restaurant’s branches to launch in Sainsbury’s will be in Leamington Spa, sometime in June.

The Leamington Spa superstore will welcome a Carluccio’s Counter, which will offer the restaurant’s deli products, pizza, and hot ready-to-eat items.

These products will be available to takeaway and to order via Deliveroo, Uber Eats, and Just Eat.

The third concept store to be trialled is called the Restaurant Hub, which will not only offer Carluccio’s items to customers, but also GBK, Slim Chickens, Harry Ramsdens, and Ed’s Easy Dinner products.

Shoppers will again be able to opt for takeaway or delivery options from this branch, and it will be located in Sainsbury’s Selly Oak superstore in Birmingham.

The Restaurant Hub will open a few weeks after Caffè Carluccio’s and Carluccio’s Counter, in July.

Carluccio’s went into administration last year, but it was announced that the Boparan Restaurant Group (BRG) was planning to buy it.

BRG’s deal was finalised in May as it acquired the Carluccuio’s brand and 30 trading sites, saving over 800 jobs in the process.

Sainsbury’s and BRG have said that they will be listening to customer feedback about the three new concept stores in order to assess what to do next.

It is likely that, if successful, more Carluccio’s branches will open in Sainsbury’s stores in the future.

Rhian Bartlett, Sainsbury’s Food Commercial Director, commented on the collaboration.

She said: “We’re testing these new offers as part of our plan to put food back at the heart of Sainsbury’s – bringing even more innovative and delicious food and drink to our stores.

“This is the first time we’ve worked with Carluccio’s and we’ll be listening closely to see what shoppers think of the different concepts, which also include GBK, Slim Chickens, Harry Ramsdens and Ed’s Easy Diner.”

Satnam Leihal, BRG’s Managing Director, added: “Our customers tell us they love our brands and would like to access them more regularly and be part of their family home occasions.

“This trial with Sainsbury’s allows us to bring our range of high quality products to more customers, more often, in varied formats.”

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