The deal will cover the first two phases of Sainsbury's three-year programme to standardise its store base. This will last six months and comprises the refurbishment of 50 stores.
It will be the first of a series of framework deals to be struck by the client, which is set to undertake a £405m programme of mixed-use brownfield regeneration projects.
A Sainsbury property spokeswoman said: "This is an informal strategic alliance.
"The deal will ensure that the work is done under best practice and is completed efficiently and quickly." The three contractors will pool resources with Sainsbury's property division to carry out store fit-outs.
The spokesperson said the programme was set up because Sainsbury chief executive Sir Peter Davis wished to bring all the stores up to standard.
Some of the stores are awful … we want them all like Greenwich
J Sainsbury property spokeswoman
She said: "Some of the stores are really good, some are awful. We want to make them all the same standard, so they are more like Greenwich." A source close to the deal said the work was likely to be shared equally between the three contractors. The source said: "It's a genuine alliance that's being created. It's quite fair and will run on an open book basis." Sainsbury last year announced plans to set up a property development arm, Propco, to create mixed-use brownfield developments on store sites.
These will include a £100m scheme in Brighton, East Sussex; a project in Maidenhead, Berkshire, worth more than £40-50m; a £100m development in Birmingham; and a scheme in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, worth about £30m. These have all been designed by Chetwood Associates, architect of the Greenwich store.
The property spokeswoman said the present set of framework deals for new-build work was under review. Three construction managers – Schal, PCM and RGCM – are in the framework list.
One source close to the retailer said Sainsbury would need to look beyond frameworks to execute its development plans.