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Working Lives

21 results

Long Read

Art at Sainsbury's

Many branches have included public artworks as a prominent feature in their design, from murals and mosaics to concrete hippos. Discover more and see images of them here.

Quick Read

A Brief History of Wine

Sainsbury’s began selling own-brand wines in the 1960s. Enjoy a few digitised items from our collection charting the rise of this important department.

Quick Read

We're Gonna Party Like it's 1979

It’s party time at Sainsbury Archive

Quick Read

Tastes better than it looks?

A look back at some unappetising finds

Quick Read

A History of Innovation

Sainsbury’s has always had a flair for innovation, right from the day the first store opened.

Long Read

Evolution of Packaging

The early range of fresh provisions sold by Sainsbury’s was weighed and wrapped individually, and any packaging was simple.

Long Read

Happy Birthday Sainsbury's

We look back at the 150 year history of one of Britain's biggest retail firms.

Quick Read

Store Highlight: Croydon

Description of first suburban shop in Croydon and all the amazing innovations it went through over the years.

Audio Story

Harry's Story

Welcome to Harry Webb's story. This on-line audio book describes through pictures a typical day in the life of a delivery boy working for Sainsbury's in 1912.

Quick Read

Store Highlight: 173 Drury Lane

A description of what it was like to shop in Sainsbury's first branch and the changes it went through before closing its doors for the last time in 1958

Long Read

Christmas Display

In the weeks before Christmas, the old-style counter service branches would have window displays of seasonal products like mincemeat, Christmas puds and dried fruit. Poultry and ham displays at Sainsbury’s were famous. Enjoy this festive read from everyone at the Sainsbury archive.

Video Story

Shopping Day

Twenty-four hours at Sainsbury's in 1963

Long Read

Wartime Trading

Before the First World War, over 75% of the butter, cheese, eggs and bacon consumed in the UK came from overseas. The outbreak of war brought an urgent need to cut down on imports to save foreign currency, and to reallocate shipping to the war effort. Food shortages therefore became a serious issue.

Quick Read

Trick or Treat?

To celebrate Halloween we're treating you to a selection of 1960s sweet packaging.

Photo Story

Own Label

Highlighting the story, and showcasing examples, of the Sainsbury Design Studio under Peter Dixon, 1962-1977

Long Read

Women at work

During the 19th century, shop keeping was generally regarded as an unsuitable job for women, not least because of the long working hours and heavy lifting it entailed. However, it was both common and acceptable for female family members to work in smaller shops.

Quick Read

Shopping patterns

Over the last 149 years the way we shop for food has changed dramatically, reflecting other social changes. Since its establishment in 1869, Sainsbury’s has adapted to meet the changing needs of its customers.

Long Read

Changes to the high street

The market streets were the ideal location to trade from and the surrounding businesses complimented the sale of Sainsbury’s goods.

Long Read

A Family Business

When, in 1869, a young couple of set up a small dairy shop in a small property they rented on London’s Drury Lane, no one could have predicted that this would go on to become a nation-wide retailer, known to families right across the country.

Long Read

Store design

From the 1890s onwards, Sainsbury's new shops shared a common 'house style' with long shape, tiled walls and marble-topped counters.