John James Sainsbury founded Sainsbury's with a single shop in Drury Lane in London in 1869. Sainsbury's is the UK’s second largest chain of supermarkets and deals in food and drink, appliances, home and garden appliances and tools, toys, e-books, and electronics. In 1922, Sainsbury's became the largest grocery retailer in the United Kingdom and was also responsible for pioneering self-service retailing in the country. Sainsbury's was the leading grocery retailer in the United Kingdom during the 1980s.
The mega-retailer had a humble beginning in 1869 when John James Sainsbury established the business as a partnership with his wife, Mary Ann. Sainsbury's was at first a retailer of fresh foods but later expanded to selling packaged groceries like sugar and tea. In 1922, Sainsbury's became the largest grocery group in the United Kingdom and was also incorporated as a private company in the same year. At this time, each of Sainsbury’s stores had six departments dealing in cooked meats, fresh meats, diary, poultry and game, and bacon and ham. Though Sainsbury's started business in 1893, it was not until 1903 when they began offering groceries in their stores. One of the company’s high points was that they chose their sites carefully, making sure it was in a central place, preferably at a corner shop.
Sainsbury has two store formats, Sainsbury’s local convenience stores, and Sainsbury’s supermarkets. Sainsbury's has a total of 1,106 stores across the United Kingdom; with 583 of those being supermarkets and 523 convenience stores. Most of Sainsbury’s stores are located in South-East England and London. Sainsbury also has the largest supermarket regarding retail space, over 100,000 sq. ft., in Crayford, Kent.
Apart from supermarkets and convenience stores, Sainsbury also operates a chain of fuel forecourts selling petrol, diesel, and CityPetrol at all its supermarkets. These fuel forecourts were supplied by Jet Stations and BP, but from 2009 Sainsbury began sourcing its fuel. Sainsbury offers its customers a vast choice of top quality products for the home at all budgets. One of the factors that make Sainsbury a great place to shop is that there are discounts on several products, and you can save up to 50% on a huge selection of goods.
Sainsbury’s Cafés are operated in many of its supermarkets and remain open as long as the stores are open. These cafes were first launched in Sainsbury’s Savacentre Hypermarkets and were later introduced in the supermarkets as well.