It was 150 years ago this week that John James and Mary Ann Sainsbury set up the first Sainsbury’s at 173 Drury Lane in London.
In those days, the UK was reaping the benefits of the industrial revolution, London was at the heart of the British Empire and the retail sector comprised mainly market stalls and small stores.
It is quite an achievement for a business to celebrate 150 years, so it feels like an important time to reflect on how Sainsbury’s has evolved to adapt to the changing nature of retail and how we will prepare for the future.
Over the past 150 years, the company has lived through six monarchs, 26 prime ministers and two world wars, but I am only the eleventh chief executive.
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