From the 1890s onwards, Sainsbury's new shops shared a common style.
Their long shape provided the maximum space to display food along the counters and walls. These shops had windows only at the front so were cool in summer. This was very important when there was no refrigeration in the stores.
However, it soon grew to consist of five departments: dairy, bacon and hams, poultry and game, cooked meats and fresh meats. Groceries were not introduced until 1903 when John James purchased a grocer's branch at 12 Kingsland High Street, Dalston.
Many of the goods sold by Sainsbury's were seasonal. Game supply was dictated by the statutory regulation of the shooting season. Pork was considered to be at its best when there was an 'r' in the month. Eggs were at their best from April until June, and the abundance of milk during the spring and summer months meant that this was when the best quality 'new grass' butter was available and prices at the their lowest.
To learn more about the products and their prices at the time click anywhere on the photograph to zoom into that section, or discover more general information by selecting from the list below.
Copyright J Sainsbury plc, 2002.