Now a much-loved stalwart of the British high street, Sainsbury’s has a long and remarkable history. For nearly 150 years, Sainsbury’s has provided the British public with quality foodstuffs at competitive prices, and has grown to become one of many largest supermarket chains throughout the uk.
Featuring its huge network of supermarkets, hypermarkets and convenience stores throughout the country, almost everyone in the UK has a Sainsbury’s close by. Its well-recognised branding has come to define the British supermarket experience – but did you know that without Sainsbury’s, supermarkets would be completely different for the evergreen high street features that we know and love today? In fact, without , the self-service supermarket might not exist in any way.
This is because Sainsbury’s pioneered the notion – in the united kingdom, at the very least – of picking up your own grocery items and paying once you were ready to leave the shop. Before this, a shop assistant would collect the goods as your representative. Before self-service stores existed, customers didn’t possess the freedom to browse around supermarkets shelves like they do today.
When Sainsbury’s opened its first self-service store, customers were suddenly in a position to shop at their own pace, and store employees were free to pay attention to serving customers and taking payments. The whole shopping process was quickened significantly, and as the self-service supermarket model required all available stock to become on display, supermarkets became larger – resembling something close for the Sainsbury’s supermarkets which can be so familiar today.
Sainsbury’s was also amongst the first supermarkets to offer own-brand goods – this can be supplied with a lower price than goods that had been bought-in from third-party manufacturers. But since the manufacturing process was managed by Sainsbury’s itself, the quality was comparable – if not better – than many national brands. The initial Sainsbury’s own-brand product was bacon, which arrived in early 1880s. The modernist-inspired designs of the retailer’s own-label products which were utilised through the early 1960s towards the late 1970s have become recognised as classics in the field of retail graphic design.
John James Sainsbury opened the very first Sainsburys store in Drury Lane, London in 1869. The company soon won over many customers featuring its innovative branding and focus on detail – whilst other stores had saw dust floors and counters created from wood, Sainsbury’s made a higher-class shopping knowledge of mosaic-tiled floors, white walls and marble counters. Sainbury’s created consistency across its brand, years before it was the standard, by installing gold-leaf ‘J. Sainsbury’ signs on its stores. These tactics ecbgwb well, and the company quickly expanded.
During the Second World War, Sainbury’s – like many other businesses during wartime – fell on hard times. Right after the War, however, Sainsbury’s begun to pick up speed again, and by the time it was a public limited company in 1973, it achieved the largest flotation ever on the London stock exchange.
Today, Sainsbury’s remains one of many UK’s most popular supermarkets, along with its leap into online shopping and commitment to offering fair trade goods, it continues to innovate to the new century.