Is Sainsburys a Franchise?

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does sainsburys franchise

Sainsbury's is the UK’s second-largest supermarket chain, commanding 16.9 percent of the market share. It’s known for its wide range of goods from all across the globe and is also loved by many for its high-quality produce that’s sold at affordable prices. It was founded more than 150 years ago by J. Sainsbury, the man behind the Sainsbury family, and has gone on to become one of the best-known names in British retail. Despite many ups and downs in the company’s history, it’s weathered challenges including the devastating 2008 recession that claimed many other British stalwarts and emerged stronger than ever. But is the famous British business a franchise and can you get involved with one of the best-known names in the UK retail sector? Let’s find out…

Sainsbury's Business Model

Sainsbury's was founded in 1869 by John James Sainsbury, when he decided to set up a small shop on London’s Drury Lane. It began as a small fresh foods store and later expanded its product range so that it sold things such as tea and sugar. To differentiate himself from the competition, Sainsbury put a large cast iron ‘J.SAINSBURY’ sign above each of his shops and popularised the ‘round the back’ delivery method so as not to upset rivals due to his stores’ popularity. By the time John James Sainsbury died in 1928, he’d built an empire of more than 128 shops and so the supermarket company started to be passed down the family. The only message he was reported to have left on his deathbed was a note to tell his sons to keep his stores ‘well-lit’, showing he was a man dedicated to his business to the very end.

Sainsburys was incorporated as a private limited company in 1922 when it reached the position of the UK’s largest retailer of groceries. However, in 1973 it became a public limited company when it floated on the London Stock Exchange, the largest company to have ever done so at the time. More than one million shares were set aside for staff and the list of applications for stocks closed within one minute, causing their prices to skyrocket shortly after.

In early 2016, the supermarket company entered into a deal with Home Retail Group that would see Sainsbury's acquire brands including Argos and Habitat for a cool £1.4 billion. Now, many of the stores have concession areas of brands including Argos, Timpson’s and Habitat, making it even easier for shoppers to pick up all their goods and access a multitude of services while they do their weekly shop.

Many of the retail giant’s stores also contain cafes where people can grab a delicious bite to eat, from hearty breakfast options to tasty main meals, or stop off for a Fairtrade coffee after tackling a big shop.

Sainsbury's toyed with the idea of franchising briefly in the late 2010s, as it looked to expand its small convenience stores across the UK by recruiting franchise partners. However, this is yet to become reality and for now Sainsbury's stores are all company-owned. It has around 1,415 stores in Great Britain and is in talks with Walmart regarding a merger with the UK’s third-biggest supermarket company, Asda, which would turn it into the UK’s top combined supermarket brand by number of stores and market share.

Retail Franchises in the UK

If you’re interested in joining a UK supermarket franchise, there are plenty just waiting for you to get started with them. Perhaps a well-known name appeals to you and you’d like to become part of a business with a reputation that precedes it. Here are a few franchises in the retail industry available at Point Franchise.

Boots Opticians

Boots Opticians is the UK’s largest retail optical franchise, with more than 100 franchisees across the country. The franchise benefits from being a well-known name (thanks to its parent company Boots) to the British public and is well connected with instantly recognisable brands across the retail and healthcare industries. Its lucrative 100 percent franchise model means that all of the profits go to the franchisee and there’s endless potential for financial success.

You’ll be guided by the Boots Opticians franchise team, who will assist every step of the way, from sourcing the right property to developing your very own targeted local marketing campaign. You’ll also spend time shadowing established franchise partners to get a taste of what’s to come and the chance to ask questions to someone who was once in exactly the same position as you. Any time you need further assistance during your franchising journey, Boots Opticians head office team will be there to help, reassure and guide you in the right direction, no matter what your query is.

The ideal franchisee will have the right mix of both clinical and entrepreneurial skills to make their branch a success. If you’ve got a passion for optical care and want to start your own business, but are finding the prospect too daunting, you could be the perfect franchise partner at Boots Opticians.


CEX or Complete Entertainment eXchange is one of the UK’s best-known retailers of second-hand electronics and entertainment tech. The franchise has more than 350 stores across the world and is a member of the British Franchising Association, making it a reputable and familiar choice for prospective franchisees, and it’s the dominating force in a market where there’s little to no high street competition.

New franchisees will need to invest between £150,000 and £250,000, but CEX is well-connected and offers financing options from many major UK banks. Add into this the fact that you can expect to see a return on your investment in just 18 months of business while working as your own boss and the prospect of becoming a CEX franchisee seems even more appealing. It’s seeking people with previous retail management experience and a passion for technology to join its franchise and help it to continue expanding across the globe.

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