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4-5 High Street, Oxford store interior, 1910.

Sainsbury’s Summer Spectacular

Sainsbury’s has always sought to provide its customers with exemplary levels of service (the eagle-eyed among you may have noticed the signage on the background image reading ‘Sainsbury’s for an appetising spread for the summer months’). But Sainsbury’s is perhaps less well known for its commitment and dedication to its colleagues. In addition to the exciting and countless career development opportunities, Sainsbury’s has always encouraged colleagues to take part in a range of activities outside of work, to help keep active and enjoy the outdoors. And what better excuse is there to engage in some colleague bonding than the emergence of the great British summer?

Keeping active has always been a key Sainsbury's value, particularly in the summer. More recent examples include the Sainsbury’s Active Kids campaign, whereby customers and colleagues can earn vouchers for items bought and exchange those vouchers for sports equipment in schools. Sainsbury’s has also been heavily involved with Sport Relief, encouraging customers and colleagues to take part in the Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games, raising millions of pounds for charity in the process.

The slideshow below takes us back to the early days, with Sainsbury’s keen to ensure colleagues had the opportunity to play sports and games together with friends and family while enjoying the notoriously fickle sunshine. 

  • The Stamford House Cricket Club

  • Tug of War at a Colleague Sports Day, Dulwich

  • Egg and spoon race at Sainsbury’s Staff Association Sports Day

  • Sainsbury’s Colleague Sports Day

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Oxford branch colleague picnic by the riverside

Slowing the pace

Those looking for something a little less competitive would not have been left disappointed. Leisurely colleague picnics were commonplace and this scene from 1911 gives a real insight into the formal attire conventions of the time. 

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Colleagues from St Albans store on a summer charabanc outing to Dunstable Downs

Arrive in style

No summer outing would be complete without a suitable mode of seasonal transport. This photograph was taken in 1923 and features an open-top charabanc. These early buses were typically used for pleasure trips and would have been the perfect remedy for any colleagues suffering from sore feet.

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Model train ride at colleague summer fete, Dulwich, June 1940

The colleague summer fete

The summer fete: an occasion so synonymous with the British summer that Sainsbury’s would host their own and invite local colleagues. More than 12,000 colleagues and their families would descend on the company's own sports ground at Dulwich.  Everything you’d expect was there from the rideable model railway seen in this photograph in 1940, to games and competitions fit for all the family.