Sainsbury’s is the second largest supermarket chain in the United Kingdom, after Tesco. In 1992, it became the UK's largest retailer in groceries and remained so for a short period of time before being overtaken in 1995. They sell typical produce found in most supermarkets. Shoppers can choose from a variety of fruit and vegetables as well as meat, dairy produce and frozen items, including convenience meals, ice cream and more. Their aisles are stocked with well-known brands and cheaper alternatives under Sainsbury’s ownership.

Founded by John James Sainsbury in 1922 in London, it is now majority-owned by the Qatari sovereign wealth fund, Qatar Investment Authority. The company has has over 1,400 shops and over 185,000 employees. It is also a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index and is listed on the London Stock Exchange. The establishment has diversified its interests over the years and now includes subsidiaries in banking and energy, among other things.  

Sainsbury’s Opening Times & Store Locations

With over 1,400 stores, Sainsbury’s has shops in over 450 cities in the United Kingdom. The cities with the most Sainsbury’s stores are London, Nottingham, and Edinburgh. Sainsbury’s opening times can vary between location, but the general opening times of most Sainsbury’s establishments is 7am to 11pm every day of the week – some branches close early on Sundays, however. Sainsbury’s opening times may also vary on bank holidays, Easter Monday, Good Friday, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. Find the opening times of Sainsburys near you with the branch locator tool on

There are various types of Sainsbury’s stores throughout the UK, with over 600 supermarkets and over 800 convenience stores, you should have no problem finding a shop in your area. Sainsbury’s also enjoys a market dominance in South East London, Wolverhampton, Guildford, Swindon, Torquay, Redhill, Dartford and Enfield. A lot of their supermarkets now also have in-built cafés and fuel forecourts.

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Sainsbury’s

As one of the leading groceries and general merchandise leaders in the United Kingdom, the establishment is a household name and most people will have been a customer of the company at some point in their life. However, here are 5 things you didn’t know about Sainsbury’s.

  1. Their first shop was set up in 1869 on Drury Lane in Holborn, London
  2. In the United Kingdom, it was one of the first adopters of self-service supermarkets, with many shops of its kind being developed in the 1950s and 1960s. This was down to the chairman at the time, Alan Sainsbury, who saw the potential of self-service shops after a trip to the United States of America
  3. The establishment has had many brand ambassadors over the years, with the most notable names being TV chef Jamie Oliver, Paralympic swimmer Ellie Simmonds and former footballer David Beckham
  4. It was one of the first major British corporations to employ an online only recruitment system. The strategy was first introduced in November 2007 and was, at the time, a controversial move due to only half of the population having access to the internet
  5. Sainsbury’s runs an Active Kids campaign whereby local organisations can redeem vouchers donated by customers in exchange for children’s sport equipment

Products & Services

Sainsbury’s is a supermarket giant and operates both online and in brick-and-mortar stores. A typical shop usually stocks over 30,000 different lines, with 20% of that being their own brands.

Among their own-label goods are:


  • Basics. This is an economy range that covers mainly food items but also encompasses some stationery and toiletry products.
  • Taste The Difference. A high-end brand of food that has premium-quality lines in many frozen and fresh foods and bakery products, among others.
  • Be Good To Yourself. Often abbreviated to BGTY, this range is aimed at consumers looking for food products with reduced calories.
  • Deliciously FreeFrom. Products in this brand are suitable for consumers with various allergies and diet restrictions, including those who have intolerances for wheat, dairy and gluten.
  • SO Organic. This brand has food products that have been sourced from fertiliser-free and pesticide-free environments.


Sainsbury’s does not only provide own-label food products, however and also has non-food related brands such as Sainsbury’s HOME and Home Collection – which offer a variety of products including kitchenware, bed linen, and lighting – and Tu, their own clothing line.  

A Brief History

Sainsbury’s was initially set up in 1869 by John James and Mary Ann Sainsbury, whose first store was in Holborn, London. After focussing mainly on fresh food retail, the supermarket later became a vender of packaged food goods. At the time of John James Sainsbury’s death in 1928, the company had 128 shops and was expanding at a steady rate. The period of World War II was a turbulent time for business, as many of their workforce (predominantly men) were called into National Service and many of its shops in London were bombed. After surviving and then rapidly expanding during the 1950s, 60s, 70s and 80s, the company suffered a brief decline during the 1990s. The brand then had a re-launch in 1998 and has experienced steady growth and market success ever since.

More Supermarkets in the UK

Sainsbury's closed? Then try one of the other Supermarkets nearby.