The new Times league table is out and has been published here. There is though very little to get excited about in the Top 20 with hardly any movement and only one new entry (Glasgow) and one drop out (Sheffield). University of Nottingham drops four places to where it was in 2011 but remains in the Top 20 (just).
Sainsbury’s recently opened a Sainsbury’s Local store on Derby Road in the Lenton area of Nottingham at the heart of one of the most popular student districts in the city. It seems to be doing extremely good business and whenever I visit (it’s rather handy sometimes on the way home) it’s always pretty busy. This kind of development is really important as it is one way of ensuring that decent services are sustained year round in areas of high density student occupation (where there can be a tendency for some outlets to open only in term time). It is also symbolic of the value of student spend to the local economy.
Having said all that, this store has a number of key features which distinguish it from some of the other Sainsbury’s Local stores (and other supermarkets’ “express” offerings) in Nottingham:
The clientele is almost entirely made up of students, many of whom are wearing pyjamas, regardless of the time of day
There is a rather limited fresh fruit and vegetables section
There is a lot of convenience food and plenty of ready meals
No-one seems to use cash
There is a very large and comprehensive alcoholic drinks section
Cleaning products are at a premium
There are a lot more self-service checkouts than staffed tills.
Anyway, my simple suggestion is that they just cut to the chase and rebrand it as “Sainsbury’s Student”. This would also work with Tesco, Asda, Morrison’s and the Co-op I reckon. At least then we will all know where we stand and what product range we can expect.
(Next up in this sub-Mary Portas series – why Lidl always seem to have cycling shoes in stock.)
NB §1 I inadvertantly omitted to credit Rachel, Hester and Connie Greatrix for their contribution to this idea and to point out that they spend more time in Sainsbury’s Student (or Student Sainsbury’s as they call it) than I do. Apologies for that.
§2 All credit to Sainsbury’s PR for their rapid response to this on Twitter.