Charlton Argos gets set to move into Sainsbury’s in December

Charlton Sainsbury's, 23 November 2021
Signs going up at Sainsbury’s yesterday

First they came for the catalogues. Now it’s the standalone stores – Charlton’s Argos Extra store has only a few days left before it moves down the road to share space with Sainsbury’s.

The last day of trading at the standalone Argos on Bugsby’s Way will be Thursday 2 December – with the new Argos store inside Sainsbury’s opening the following day, Friday 3 December.

Argos was bought by Sainsbury’s five years ago, and all its standalone stores are gradually being closed in favour of smaller outlets inside the chain’s supermarkets.

The famous catalogues went out of print last year – if you want to relive the chain’s glory days (which would have meant trips to Woolwich or Lewisham, of course), then you can immerse yourself in a selection of old catalogues from the 1970s to the 1990s.


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Chop chop! One-hour Sainsbury’s deliveries come to Charlton

Sainsbury's Charlton Riverside
You can beat the queues at Sainsbury’s… at a cost

Living near a load of supermarkets has its downsides – litter, dumped trolleys, rat-running – but if you live within about three kilometres of Sainsbury’s at Charlton Riverside, the store giant wants to make your life a little easier.

The store is now offering one-hour deliveries through the Sainsbury’s Chop Chop app – select up to 20 goods, and they should come to you within an hour. The scheme has been trialled with bicycles in the Southwark area – we wait to see whether Sainsbury’s staff will be puffing up Charlton Church Lane with your last-minute shopping, or dicing it on the Woolwich Road.

This all comes at a cost – delivery is £4.99, so competitive with taking a minicab, although there are some opening offers; your first order is free if it’s over £15. Watch for the price of goods too – our keen-eyed Charlton Champion consumer expert has noticed some goods are more expensive (1.25 litres of Coke Zero currently £1 in store, £1.15 on the app).

Of course, you could walk to the store and get a bit of exercise – but if you’re in a hurry, or it’s raining, this could come in very handy if you’re happy to pay extra.

Three kilometres takes in Greenwich and Woolwich town centres and Blackheath Village, so there’s bound to be a lot of demand. We haven’t tried it yet, but we’d be interested to hear from readers who have – the comments are open. You can download the app at chopchopapp.co.uk.


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Charlton stores among sticking points for Sainsbury’s and Asda merger

Asda Charlton
Asda has been trading on the Bugsby’s Way site since 1984

Sainsbury’s and Asda are likely to have to sell one of their Charlton stores if the two supermarket giants are allowed to go through with their plans to merge, according a report from the competition watchdog.

The two superstores are among 629 locations where a tie-up between the two companies could result in a “substantial lessening of competition”, the Competition and Markets Authority said in a provisional report on the merger plan, released on Wednesday.

The two supermarket giants announced plans for a tie-up last April, and it has been widely reported that the combined company would take one pound out of every three spent by UK grocery shoppers. But the CMA says a combination of the two firms could mean shoppers would “face higher prices, reduced quality and choice, and a poorer overall shopping experience across the UK”.

While the strength of the CMA’s concerns about the merger could force the two companies to abandon their plans, Sainsbury’s and Asda have said they want to go ahead with the tie-up.

The full report was made public on Thursday afternoon. As well as the two Charlton stores, the CMA has raised issues about stores in Lewisham, New Cross, Abbey Wood, Kidbrooke, Peckham, Deptford, Old Kent Road, Isle of Dogs, Bexleyheath and Belvedere.

Both retailers also have petrol outlets within close proximity of each other, as Sainsbury’s retailed the filling station from its former Greenwich store, now replaced by an Ikea. These outlets are also highlighted by the CMA.

As well as their two Bugsby’s Way superstores, Sainsbury’s also has a Local supermarket on Charlton Church Lane. This is not included in the CMA’s list of concerns.

The Charlton Riverside Sainsbury’s store opened in 2015

Of the two Charlton superstores, the Asda branch is arguably the most vulnerable to a sale. The store has been trading for 35 years, making it the second oldest in the Charlton retail area (Makro is 10 years older) and its facilities are dated. It could be seen as a target for Lidl, which is currently applying for planning permission to convert two units in an adjacent shopping park into a supermarket, or the new Tesco low-cost brand Jack’s.

The Charlton store only opened in 2015, and there have been anecdotal reports that trading has been slower than expected – one consequence of its move from east Greenwich was that the store was cut off from shoppers who would take a bus down the hill from Blackheath. But a new store could be attractive to a rival such as Morrisons, which lacks a store between Peckham, Welling and Thamesmead.

The full Competition and Markets Authority report will be released in April.


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