Sainsbury’s is to extend its £1.6bn store expansion plan for at least another two years, according to its head of property

The supermarket announced in May that it planned to build 50 new supermarkets, 45 extensions and 150 convenience stores by 2011: a total of 2.5 million ft2 of space. John Rogers said Sainsbury’s was now “looking to maintain momentum and look to keep the same pace of growth beyond 2011”.

Rogers added that at least 10% of the work would be offered to contractors and consultants outside its present framework, which includes Bowmer & Kirkland, Mace, Kier and Turner & Townsend.

He said: “There is the opportunity for new contractors to join us. At least 10% of our projects are put out to tender and we’re always willing to take approaches from contractors that think they have something to offer – it would be crazy not to.”

Rogers’ 90-strong property team has been analysing which areas of the UK are most in need of a Sainsbury’s. Their target areas for 2011 include Scotland, Cornwall and Devon.

We want to hear from contractors that think they have something to offer

John Rogers, Sainsbury’s

The firm posted a 2.7% fall in pre-tax profit for the year to 21 March but said underlying profit rose 11% to £542m.

Revenue was up 6% to £18.9bn, largely driven by an increasing interest in budget range products and more people eating at home.

Rogers refused to be drawn on whether Sainsbury’s would follow the example of other chains and cut fees, however he did say that he was looking for year-on-year reductions in costs.

Tesco, the UK’s largest retailer, has already made hefty fee cuts, as well as redundancies in its property division.