Nowadays Sainsbury’s sells lots of non-food products but for much of its history it focussed almost exclusively on groceries. The earliest exceptions were 'household goods', an offering which has changed significantly over time.
Sainsbury's were a leader in the development of self-service supermarkets in Britain after the Second World War.
Butter and margarine
Butter was one of just three products sold in the first Sainsbury's store, and remained a key product during Sainsbury's development into a national chain. We look here at the history of butter, margarine and spreads at Sainsbury's.
Egg-xamine archive material showing how Easter at Sainsbury’s has changed over the last hundred years.
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.
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.
A History of Innovation
Sainsbury’s has always had a flair for innovation, right from the day the first store opened.
Evolution of Packaging
The early range of fresh provisions sold by Sainsbury’s was weighed and wrapped individually, and any packaging was simple.
Happy Birthday Sainsbury's
We look back at the 150 year history of one of Britain's biggest retail firms.
Store Highlight: Croydon
Description of first suburban shop in Croydon and all the amazing innovations it went through over the years.
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.
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
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.
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.