ASDA and Sainsbury's are merging into a mega-supermarket, or ASSbury's, as it's sure to be known.
What this means for staff, stores and branding remains to be seen. In the meantime, we thought we'd have a root around to see where in London the two stores are already intimate.
These north London rivals are kept apart only by the Overground tracks. At their closest points, the two stores are just 65 metres apart. This distance is almost identical to the Guinness World Record for welly wanging — though we're not convinced that George wellies have world-beating aerodynamics.
St Nicholas Way in Sutton is a magical place. It is that rare spot where the supermarket connoisseur can view both an ASDA and Sainsbury's logo from the same position — and more clearly than at Walthamstow. The imminent bedfellows are around 85 metres apart, roughly equivalent to the Olympic hammer-throwing record. Only a gooseberry Halfords prevents a physical coupling.
A Sainsbury's Local beneath a new-build residential tower meets an ASDA Yokel (or whatever they're called) beneath a new-build residential tower. Welcome to Lewisham 2018. An interfering branch of Morley's stands betwixt. It is in one of the few remaining properties not to have been swept away in this quarter. Expect a Tesco Metro beneath a new-build residential tower anytime soon.
This couple appear to be playing hide-and-seek, with ASDA skulking coyly behind a bank, an opticians, a chemist... anything it can use to avoid the glare of its upmarket neighbour. These two are just over 100 metres apart. Knock down Boots, and Usain Bolt could visit both within 10 seconds.
The bewitching Greenwich Shopping Park serves as sandwich filler between these two south-east London superstores. Sainsbury's leapfrogged ASDA to reach this location. In 2015, it closed its 'eco-friendly' hub at the foot of Greenwich Peninsula and gamely bounded a half-mile east. Perhaps further gymnastics lie ahead now the chains are merging.
A quarter-kilometre apart, this ASSbury's pair are nevertheless caught in each other's orbits — like a binary star system without the romantic sunsets. An Aldi, not pictured, lurks like a dwarf star to the north-west. Top tip for supermarket senior managers... the Ramada hotel, between the two shops, is the perfect neutral territory to deliver your staff talk about growth and opportunity, which somehow avoids the 'redundancy' word.
Half a kilometre adrift, these two aren't exactly holding hands — but it's the closest pairing we could find in inner London. They're also twins. Both are set back north of Mile End Road, very close to tube stations. It's the perfect conjunction for anyone planning an ASSbury's supermarket crawl using the District line, as we know you all are.
Rounding these up was by no means an exact science. If you think you've spotted further examples, let us know in the comments.