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A very British supermarket

A family business

Story | A very British supermarket

John James and Mary Ann Sainsbury

From 1869, when the first dairy shop opened its doors, the Sainsbury’s family have always played an important role in the development of the company. They continue to hold an interest today.

The people who keep the stores ticking

Story | A very British supermarket

Biscuit packaging 1955

From egg boys and housekeepers to shelf stackers and executives, it’s people who have made Sainsbury’s a success from 1869 to today.

From dairy store to national supermarket

Story | A very British supermarket

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It started with a single dairy shop trading on Drury Lane in central London. Now Sainsbury’s has more than 1,200 stores nationwide. We take a look at the nation’s best-loved supermarket’s incredible journey across the country.

The British shopping revolution

Story | A very British supermarket

Shop assistant testing cheese

As British tastes have changed, so have we. We look at how our stores have expanded from selling ‘the best butter in the world’ to offering more than 30,000 products. When John James Sainsbury and his wife, Mary Ann, opened their first shop on Drury Lane in 1869, Sainsbury’s was a small dairy, selling just butter, eggs, milk – and later cheese. Six years later, imported Irish bacon was added to the goods on sale, and Danish bacon soon followed.

Building the Brand

Story | A very British supermarket

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How did Sainsbury’s grow from a single dairy store to become one of Britain’s household names? We look at the branding journey

On the home front

Story | A very British supermarket

1940s advertisement ‘The things you see rarely...are all shared out fairly’

The World Wars had a huge impact on British life. Discover how Sainsbury’s employed women, operated during air raids and helped people cope with rationing.

The technology of shopping

Story | A very British supermarket

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People may take self-service shops, bar code scanners, and frozen meals for granted today. But these transformed the way Britain shops and eats.