Sainsbury’s is the latest retailer to pledge its support to the 12 Portas Pilot towns after Boots backed the Government-led scheme to help revitalise high streets.
The grocer is the second retailer to disclose its active involvement, alongside health and beauty retailer Boots.
No other details about what the retailers’ roles will comprise are yet known but they are expected to help the chosen towns which are piloting 28 recommendations made by retail adviser Mary Portas. The Government has awarded the 12 town teams a slice of a £1.2m pot.
Boots was the first to throw its hat into the ring on Monday when it was announced as one of several unnamed “leading retailers” helping the Government.
A Home Retail spokesman said it has shown interest in the scheme. He said: “We think the high street is important. “But we need to find out what the Government expects from retailers once they sign up.”
He added that it is likely work would be done through Argos due to its strong high street presence. Marks & Spencer and Asda said they are engaging in the process via the BRC.
The first 12 Pilot towns met with Portas and local government minister Grant Shapps on Monday. Bids for the second wave of pilot towns are due in on Saturday and are likely to be announced at the end of July.
Grocer The Co-operative said it is supporting 10 town teams that failed to be chosen as Portas Pilots through investment.
A spokeswoman said: “We are working with Action for Market Towns to support 10 town teams in areas where Portas Pilot bids were not successful.
“We are offering financial and logistical support to the teams in order to bring alive some of the innovative ideas they set out in their bid for reviving their local high street.”
John Lewis Partnership head of public affairs Charlotte Cool said she supported Portas’ approach on focusing on “adapting to the shopping behaviour of today, while preserving the social capital that we all value in our communities”.
Cool added: “We are already very engaged with town centre forums and will support Portas pilot projects where we trade.”
John Lewis Partnership operates a Waitrose store in Croydon, one of the 12 Portas Pilot areas.
The Local Data Company has agreed to supply software which offers detailed data on the towns’ retail profile, anchor retailers, long-term footfall trends and vacancy trends to the pilot towns.