Sainsbury’s goes ‘naked’, unwrapping all greeting cards in a 10-store trial

Sainsbury’s has ‘gone naked’, with 10 of its stores only offering 100% unwrapped (ie non-cellowrapped) single greeting cards in the stores selected for the trial.

Some of the unwrapped cards in one of Sainsbury’s stores in the trial.
Some of the unwrapped cards in one of Sainsbury’s stores in the trial.

The grocer, which won the Best Supermarket Retailer of Greeting Cards award in The Retas in July, has embarked on the trial as part of its support of the UK ‘Plastic Pact’ initiative, which aims to avoid avoidable plastic waste.

Explaining how this pledge promoted the supermarket group to investigate changing the way its greeting card offer is presented, Carly Pearson, buyer of cards and wrap for Sainsbury’s told PG Buzz: “Sainsbury’s is committed to reducing the volume of non-essential plastic waste, with all cello bags destined for the bin it is the right thing to do for our business and the environment to investigate how essential this plastic is within our department.”

Carly Pearson, Sainsbury’s card buyer with The Retas trophy Sainsbury’s was presented with at the event in July.
Carly Pearson, Sainsbury’s card buyer with The Retas trophy Sainsbury’s was presented with at the event in July.

The trial, which is now underway in 10 stores in and around the Midlands, has seen all of its greeting cards, both own brand and from supplying card publishers be put on display without cellowrapping. The trial involves its stores of differing sizes, including its larger Milton Keynes and Rugby supermarkets.

“The initial view from customers is that the cards actually look better in the rack without the plastic bags,” Carly admitted. “We will be monitoring the effect on sales and waste and also the impact on the display over the coming months to help inform us in making a decision on our stance on cello bagging for the future,” she added.

Across its estate, 25% of publishers’ greeting cards stocked by Sainsbury’s are already put on display unbagged.

The ‘naked trial’ is expected to run and be monitored for the next few months.

Carly Pearson spoke at last year’s GCA AGM last October at which she shared some of Sainsbury’s stats.
Carly Pearson spoke at last year’s GCA AGM last October at which she shared some of Sainsbury’s stats.
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