ScottishPower has joined forces with retailer Sainsbury’s to supply them with gas and energy for a new energy service to be launched today. Sainsbury’s will become the first UK supermarket to have its own electricity and gas retail product.
The supply deal is the next stage of a partnership between the two companies which has gained ScottishPower 140 000 new gas and electricity accounts from 75 000 new customers since it was set up last October. The first stage offered Sainsbury’s loyalty card points to news ScottishPower customers.
“Sainsbury’s Energy”, will initially be offered in six pilot stores in England. If successful it will be rolled out nationwide. ScottishPower will supply the customers’ gas and electricity and Sainsbury’s will provide all the customer services including billing.
Willie MacDiarmid, Managing Director of ScottishPower’s Customer Sales and Services business said, “ScottishPower is delighted to be partnering Sainsbury’s on the launch of their new energy service and we look forward to providing a quality energy product tailored to the needs of Sainsbury’s and its customers.
Alan Shepherd, Managing Director of Sainsbury’s Energy said, “Sainsbury’s Energy is all about offering the best value and quality service. Our research has shown that customers want the reassurance of a name they know and trust when choosing their energy provider.
“Sainsbury’s Energy will give us the opportunity to apply our marketing and customer service expertise to deliver added value and benefits to our Reward Card holders.”
The deal is part of a trend towards “affinity relationships” among utilities that lack a strong nation-wide brand. Their aim is to maximise their customer base and compete with established energy brands such as Centrica’s British Gas and Powergen.
Last year London Electricity began selling its energy through Virgin, the branded group run by British businessman Richard Branson. Scottish and Southern Energy has affinity deals with the retailer Argos.