Sainsbury’s has thrown open the doors to its “experimental” store in Selly Oak, Birmingham, in a departure from its existing supermarkets.

The 67,000 sq ft store features an Oasis concession, a 180-seat Food Market, a dedicated wellness aisle and new-look toys and homewares departments.

Around 40% of the store’s floor space has been dedicated to non-food, as Sainsbury’s continues to ramp up its general merchandise credentials and trial more interactive and experiential departments within its supermarkets.

Darren Sinclair, who oversees 550 Sainsbury’s stores as zone managing director for the Central region, says the store is very much “a one-off”, but lessons from the testbed will be taken into other properties in its portfolio.

Retail Week was given an exclusive tour of the supermarket on opening day to take a closer look at Sainsbury’s experiments.

Analysis: Sainsbury's strikes new direction in Selly Oak