145 years of history

Original Sainsburys store

145 years of history

Sainsbury's was founded in 1869 by John James Sainsbury and his wife Mary Ann Sainsbury in London and has grown to become one of the UK’s largest retailers.

2010
2000
2013

2013

Our colleagues and customers helped raise over £10.5 million for Comic Relief

2012

2012

6% absolute reduction in carbon emissions despite an increase in space of 25% since 2007/08

2012

2012

World’s biggest retailer user of Anaerobic Digestion (AD) – and announced our investment in Tamar Energy a joint venture in AD

2012

2012

Became the host of Europe’s largest multi-roof solar array

2012

2012

Our Active Kids Get Cooking scheme promotes nutritional education and skills to help establish life-long healthy habits among children aged 3-11years

2012

2012

First retailer to change labelling guidance to encourage consumers to freeze products up to ‘use-by’ dates – preventing food waste

2012

2012

First-ever Paralympic-only sponsor and major partner of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations

2012

2012

Achieved our zero food waste to landfill target as part of our positive waste programme

2011

2011

Our Live Well For Less campaign taps into the mood of today's savvy shoppers

2011

2011

Our 1 Million Meals Appeal became the UK’s largest charity food collection with Sainsbury’s matching customer donations – totalling 3.2 million meals in 2011 and 2012

2011

2011

Our 1 Million Kids Challenge set out to encourage children to try a Paralympic sport – with over 2.4 million participating ahead of the Paralympics

2011

2011

Our Switch The Fish campaign encouraged consumers to try new fish varieties beyond the ‘big five’

2010

2010

We became the world's largest retailer of Fairtrade products: almost one in every four pounds spent on Fairtrade in the UK is spent at a Sainsbury's store

2010

2010

World first use of geo-exchange technology to provide energy efficient heating and hot water

2010

2010

Opened the first of our 6 food colleges – these have now trained 18,000 colleagues in traditional skills, with 12,200 City & Guilds certificates awarded

2010

2010

Our Love Your Leftovers campaign helped consumers minimise food waste and save money

2010

2010

First – and still only – food retailer to be awarded Gold accreditation by Investors in People

2009

2009

First retailer to use RSPO certified palm oil

2009

2009

We were the largest retailer to completely remove battery farmed eggs from the shelves

2008

2008

Established our You Can employment programme in partnership with Remploy, Mencap and Job Centre Plus - 13,000 people since employed as a result

2008

2008

We were the first retailer to launch our own brand 1% fat milk

2007

2007

We were the first retailer to convert all our bananas to 100% Fairtrade

2007

2007

Our first Make the Difference day encouraging carrier bag reuse, was a massive success

2006

2006

Established first of our Farmer and Grower Development Groups investing in British agriculture – now in place across 10 product categories with a membership of over 2,500 farmers

2005

2005

We launched 'Try something new today' marking the end of a disappointing period in our history, and a return to what our customers want

2005

2005

Began our Active Kids programme

2005

2005

First retailer to introduce traffic light nutritional labelling and campaign for transparency front of pack

2004

2004

We launched the TU fashion range in 160 stores

2004

2004

Introduced customer plastic bag recycling across our stores – now also available with online deliveries

2004

2004

Began our work with the Woodland Trust – since which we have planted 1.77 million trees

2002

2002

First major retailer to develop a freefrom category – today offering customers with allergies and intolerances the biggest range of products

2000

2000

Introduced our Be Good To Yourself range – over 175 products adhering to strict nutritional standards

2000

2000

Introduce our first MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) certified fish – the Thames Herring

The Sainsbury Archive

The Sainsbury Archive documents the history of one of the nation's oldest food retailers, from its foundation in London in 1869 to the present day. Visitors can browse books, maps and other resources. Displays showcase the history of Sainsburys, with sections on the Sainsbury family, uniforms, advertising and the development of packaging.

Further information

For further information, please email the Sainsbury's Archive or call 020 7001 9852.