Main MenuSainsbury's Our Future History Main Logo

Living Archive

Social Menu

Sainsbury's Heritage

Serving The Nation Since 1869

Story | Sainsbury's Heritage


In 2014, Sainsbury’s celebrated its 145th birthday. As you might expect, things have changed considerably since Sainsbury’s was founded in 1869. Sainsbury’s has remained steadfast in its commitment to its values, endeavouring to provide families with high quality food at affordable prices. The following is an overview of the Sainsbury’s story from 1869 through to the modern day.

Sainsbury’s Colleagues: Serving Britain For 145 Years

Story | Sainsbury's Heritage

Harry Webb delivery colleague, c.1913

In 2014, Sainsbury’s turned 145 years old. From the first year to the present day, our colleagues have always been hugely important to us, but how have the people and their roles changed?

Sainsbury’s Face Fresh Challenges: 1900-1914

Story | Sainsbury's Heritage

Colleagues Outside Croydon Store, c.1900

As London’s population boomed, this bought opportunity and competition to Sainsbury’s. Processes evolved and shopping experience improved despite the onset of World War I.

Sainsbury’s Humble Beginnings: 1869-1900

Story | Sainsbury's Heritage

John James and Mary Ann Sainsbury and Family c.1890

In 1869, John James Sainsbury and his wife, Mary Ann set up a small dairy shop on London’s Drury Lane. Not even they could have predicted that this would go on to become a nation- wide retailer, known to families right across the country.