Unimaginable photos of Sainsbury's in Kent over time – Kent On-line

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05:00, 01 January 2022
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Chart the historical past of the grocery store and also you hint the evolution of our purchasing habits over the past 60 years.
From websites within the very coronary heart of our excessive streets, to main the cost to out-of-town developments, the grocery store has dictated change and, conversely, been pressured to mirror it.
Whereas much less of us now need to do the ‘massive store’ as soon as per week, we have seen pared down ‘native’ shops from the largest names return to city centres.
And from cramped aisles to broad walkways, purposeful branding to fastidiously thought-about layouts designed to maximise our want to spend, the grocery store has aimed to be on the chopping fringe of the mass retail expertise.
To not point out offering employment for 1000’s of individuals each younger and outdated over various generations.
None extra so than Sainsbury’s which for greater than 150 years has been one of many sector’s greatest names.
From its first retailer in London’s Drury Lane in 1869, opened by James Sainsbury, it right this moment boasts greater than 1,400 nationwide – a lot of that are scattered throughout Kent.
Courtesy of The Sainsbury Archive, Museum of London Docklands, we’re in a position to transport you again in time to try what number of shops within the county’s main cities have modified over the a long time. To not point out the fashions of the consumers who use regularly them or, for that matter, served behind the tills.
So let’s begin in Ashford – which showcases how the grocery store has developed.
Its first department opened at 18 Excessive Road in 1934 – an period earlier than self-service. Buyers needed to queue at every counter to be handed no matter it was they needed, which meant a fast sprint was out of the query.
Chances are you’ll want to ponder that whereas chomping down on a Huge Mac, as McDonald’s now occupies the positioning.
By 1968, it moved right into a extra central place simply up the highway, within the constructing now lengthy occupied by Boots.
It spent 10 years there earlier than shifting into the again of the Park Mall purchasing centre. It wasn’t an architectural gem by right this moment’s requirements. But when ‘brutal city’ floats your boat, you may in all probability have lapped it up.
For these of us who labored within the retailer in our youth within the early Nineteen Nineties, these clip-on ties and brown overalls will stay lengthy within the reminiscence of trend fake pas.
In 2001, it closed the doorways on that (Wilko is now within the web site) and it put all its proverbial eggs in its big out-of-town retailer off Simone Weil Avenue, which had opened in 1992.
Keep in mind when Maidstone’s The Mall was the Chequers Centre? Nicely performed. However do you bear in mind a time earlier than that when it was the great outdated Stoneborough Centre? Go to the highest of the category.
Which suggests you may in all probability bear in mind the Sainsbury’s outlet which was within the purchasing centre from 1976 till 2000, at which level it moved to the large newly-built web site at Romney Place.
However as a particular prize, do you bear in mind when the grocery store had a retailer down Gabriel’s Hill? It opened in 1962 and closed in 1976.
The location it occupied would later turn out to be the house of the much-missed Strawberry Moons nightclub.
If we take a fast drive up Blue Bell Hill from the County City, 127 Excessive Road in Chatham as soon as was residence to the grocery store, in what right this moment is an Argos.
It opened in 1963 and closed in 1976 when the grocery store upped sticks and shifted into the Pentagon Centre, the place, in fact, it continues to this very day.
Transferring west, we come to Gravesend the place, between 1982 and 1994, the retail big had a retailer at 12 St George’s Sq.. In 1992 it opened a big out-of-town web site in Northfleet the place it continues to serve prospects.
Persevering with down the A2 and Dartford welcomed its first Sainsbury’s retailer in 1975 when it opened in what was then generally known as the Arndale Centre.
It has subsequently turn out to be the Priory Centre. The shop closed its doorways in 2000 when it shifted a hop, skip and a leap away to its new retailer because the centre was expanded, the place it stays.
Now this is a bit recreation to play. When, nipping again down in the direction of Sittingbourne, the city welcomed its retailer within the outdated Bell Procuring Centre in 1976.
The image beneath exhibits the crowds gathering on opening day. And in what is definitely one thing of an indication of the occasions, amid the queues, males are outnumbered by, let’s be trustworthy, at the least 10 to 1.
The shop may be accessed by way of the long-since shut Hulburds division retailer, which over time has been The Summoner Wetherspoon pub and, extra not too long ago, a Kaspa’s Desserts.
The Sainsbury’s retailer within the centre continued to function for 20 years earlier than shutting in 1996 and shifting to a brand new superstore, the place it stays right this moment, off the Avenue of Remembrance.
Now let’s head to Canterbury. Its present retailer at Kingsmead opened for enterprise in 1984 and attracted an enormous turnout when buyers may first go to.
The chain additionally has various ‘Native’ retailers within the metropolis centre, seeking to capitalise on these purchasing there – albeit a lot to the chagrin of different comfort shops.
Heading right down to the coast, Folkestone has had its massive out-of-town web site on the Park Farm Retail Park because it opened in 1992.
However, not like many others, it retained a city centre web site too.
The Bouverie Street West web site first opened in 1982. It is not a fairly constructing nevertheless it continues to be one of many chain’s longest-surviving retailers within the county.
Previous to that, nonetheless, there have been two different shops within the city – one in every of which was among the many earliest branches to open within the county.
The outlet at 27 Sandgate Street first opened in 1909 and continued buying and selling till 1970. The pictures of the shop seize completely the large leaps and bounds supermarkets have taken over the century. The location is now occupied by Edinburgh Woollen Mill.
At that time, Sainsbury’s opened in West Terrace – with John Sainsbury, now Lord Sainsbury, great-grandson of the chain’s founder – welcoming buyers on its first day. The shop continued working till 1982. McDonald’s is now in that web site.
Heading into Dover, the city had a central retailer at 74/79 Excessive Road – first opening in 1970. Mr Sainsbury was there for the large day too.
It stretched alongside the highway – the positioning right this moment being occupied (or not as is the case with many) by various separate models.
Buyers in Dover now must journey to neighbouring Folkestone or Deal to achieve the chain.
And eventually, on this stroll down reminiscence lane, let’s head over to the west of the county.
These in Tonbridge is not going to want reminding that since 1982 it is had a retailer within the Angel Centre which, for these with even longer reminiscences, itself sits on the previous Angel Floor, as soon as residence to Tonbridge FC.
However earlier than that opened, it had one of many county’s earliest shops at 96 Excessive Road in January 1923. It operated there till closing its doorways in 1969.
At which level, it opened a department in Avebury Avenue, which gave approach as soon as the brand new superstore opened. It’s now the house of PureGym.
Final, however not least, we come to Tunbridge Wells.
The spa city had its first Sainsbury’s in 1903 – the earliest within the county – at 94 Mount Nice Street. It operated on the web site till 1965 and has, since its departure, been butcher JC Rook and, presently, The Italian Store.
In 1932, and little doubt reflecting the city’s prosperous nature, a second retailer was opened at 62 Mount Nice Street, midway down the hill. It too operated till 1965.
At that time it opened the doorways at 55a Calverley Street, a a lot bigger retailer which might welcome buyers till 1990. In the present day the positioning is occupied by Sussex Beds.
In 1990, Sainsbury’s moved to its present residence in Linden Park Street – near the Pantiles.
And who is aware of, in 50 years time maybe KentOnline shall be operating historic photos of the branches we right this moment contemplate on the chopping fringe of expertise and the retail expertise?
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