The supermarket giant Sainsbury’s has agreed a deal that will see its staff occupying around 136,000 sq ft of office space in Coventry, it has emerged.
Sainsbury’s has thousands of employees around the UK, primarily at its hundreds of retail outlets but also at several strategically placed regional office space sites. The commitment from Sainsbury’s to occupy what is a sizable area of currently empty offices at Anstry Park is seen as good news economically for the West Midlands and as a particular fillip for the business park itself.
Anstry Park sits on the site of a former airfield and there had been hopes that a redevelopment effort could turn it into a significant base for technological innovation and enterprise. The telecoms giant Ericsson operated from the site for a time and employed in excess of 500 people there, until a slump in the company’s broader European performance saw it forced to move on in 2009.
Sainsbury’s director of estates Matt Birch outlined his company’s intention with regards to the site in a letter on the subject to local councilor Ed Ruane. The Coventry Observer records the letter as saying: “The relocation represents a major investment which we believe will secure the site’s future and be of considerable benefit to the local area.
“The relocation will provide a better work environment for our colleagues and the potential to further shape and invest in the site, to suit the company’s future aspirations.”
Mr Birch also suggested that the move formed part of a wider strategy adjustment linked to the rapidly growing prevalence of online shopping. There are some 150,000 people employed by Sainsbury’s and its bank in the UK. The company is itself headquartered out of offices in the Holborn district of central London.