Choosing a Location

21 the parade, watford, c1920s
21 The Parade, Watford, c1920
Sites were carefully chosen, with a central position in a parade selected in preference to a corner shop.

'Corners,' pronounced John James Sainsbury, 'are for banks.'

This picture shows Watford branch which opened in 1898. It was typical of the style of shop from which John James Sainsbury liked to trade.

The Watford shop was next door to Clement's, a family draper's store which could be relied upon to help attract customers to the fashionable upper end of the Watford High Street. It was located within a parade rather than on a corner. This made it possible to create a long 'tunnel-shaped' shop with plenty of room for displaying goods on the counter and walls. Shops within a row were easier to keep cool and clean than corner sites, which had more windows and tended to collect dust thrown up from the wheels of horse vans as they turned the corner.

plan for 392 mare street, hackney, 1929.
Plan for 392 Mare Street, Hackney, 1929. 67Kb.
This architectural drawing of the Hackney branch shows how the shops were laid out. Staff accommodation was provided at the front of the building, while the rear was single-storied, allowing the use of roof lights to illuminate the back of the shop.

To see the whole plan please go to the reference library.


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Copyright J Sainsbury plc, 2000.