Sainsbury’s is the second largest chain of supermarkets in the United Kingdom, with a 15.3% share of the
supermarket sector. Founded by John James Sainsbury and his wife Mary Ann in London, Sainsbury’s now has
over 600 supermarkets, 800 convenience stores, and nearly 250,000 online orders every week.

Our Involvement

Carlisle has been providing merchandising services to Sainsbury through a skilled specialist team to support their new store and refit programme for over
a decade. Sainsbury’s tend to have the majority of their store development activity completed between August and November each year, so demand for personnel is high. Their challenge was to reduce the amount of time they completed refitting stores and so required larger numbers of people in shorter timescales, up to 80 people for one week. The challenge therefore was to deliver this type of project without impacting quality, or other projects running at the same time. We provide merchandising and system support to brand new stores and store refits, as well as specialist programmes as and when required. The hours and staff required vary depending on specific requirements. Our contract with Sainsbury’s includes an Account Manager and a Field Support Officer, along with various roles for this type of contract, which include Equipment Managers, Dressing Assistants and Systems Assistants. We also have dedicated trainers on-site to ensure everyone is working to the required service level. Prior to the start of each project, we run local campaigns to recruit personnel local to the store, which means we can offer good rates of pay and secure good people. Working in partnership with Sainsbury’s, our staff attend a half-day, in-store training session, ensuring they quickly develop an understanding of Sainsbury’s basic working procedures and culture.



Lee Wainwright was our Superstar Runner-up due to his expertise and knowledge Sainsbury’s during the setup of a new store in Selly Oak. Lee has worked at arlisle for 20 years and manages a team of 57 including merchandisers, new starters and third-party support. This was alongside his role of liaising with the Project Manager and Store Manager to ensure everything was completed within the timescales.

Nothing seems to faze Lee in these challenges and he often gets requested to run sites. He also successfully completed the opening of a new store in Kendal in 2018. He is hard working, easy to approach and always delivers to a high standard.

Results and Benefits

In 2018, we successfully supplied over 80 people to two of their refit stores, whilst delivering the projects to the required standard and specification, without diluting our core skill base. In each store, 20% of the staff worked locally, some went on to join our national teams, and others secured work with the store directly.
Having locally based staff meant we could utilise more flexible hours and had the ability to deal with any operational challenges the client faced by increasing numbers at short notice.

“I would highly recommend Carlisle Support Services due to their great communication – they are the best agency leader we have worked with. There was a clear plan from day one, which was delivered above expectation. Carlisle provided great support, strong knowledge, a keen eye for detail and awareness of the Sainsbury’s
processes. The team was fantastic, and it was evident that they understood the systems inside and out. They were efficient and acknowledged the needs of
the store, and it was a pleasure to work with them.”

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