A reliable transport service is vitally important in today’s world, none more so than in the supermarket business. Without an efficient distribution industry to keep the shelves stocked we would all go hungry. The thousands of trucks that are on the go every day, Tesco alone runs around 1300 tractor units and 4000 trailers plus 450 rigids, are the lifeblood of this country. As well as the supermarkets’ own fleets there are thousands more serving the supply chain.
At one time, back in the ‘50s, shopping meant trudging around to individual retailers almost on a daily basis. You’d go to the local baker for bread, the butcher for meat, the greengrocer for vegetables while other things like eggs, flour, tea, sugar and breakfast cereals would mean a visit to the general grocery shop. Milk, of course, would arrive on your doorstop in the morning courtesy of your local dairy. Not everyone had a fridge back then and home freezers were few and far between.
The whole shopping experience was to change with the advent of supermarkets. Self-service supermarkets first began in a small way in Britain in the ‘50s and became more established in the ‘60s. The growth in both the number and size of supermarkets progressed rapidly during the ‘70s and ‘80s and the industry saw numerous mergers and takeovers as today’s market leaders like Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons began to emerge.
The concept of large, self-service stores originated in America as early as 1916 but it wasn’t until after World War Two that they arrived in the UK. Sainsbury’s can lay claim to being the first to exploit the idea when it opened such a store in Croydon back in 1950. Fine Fare followed in 1951 with an outlet in Welwyn Garden City. A decade or so later Safeway, a subsidiary of the American giant Safeway Inc, appeared on the scene and opened a store in Bedford.
Numerous smaller players have come and gone including the likes of Presto, Wavy Line (Kinloch), VG Food Stores (Harvey Bradfield & Toyer), Bishops, Londis, Bejam, Vivo, Gateway and Fine Fare. Wavy Line, for instance, was absorbed into Booker Foods in 1976 while Presto became part of Safeway, which itself ended up in Morrisons. VG Food Stores was taken over by Alldays which was then absorbed by the Co-op. That deal included Circle K. Other more recent brands, still going strong, include Nisa and Netto.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
A little bit tangy
Paul does another European trip, when the UK was still in the EU, but Covid had arrived too
Back to ERF
This ERF EC11 Olympic was fully rebuilt from the ground up and has been working hard every night trunking for the last three years, with some low loader work too!
Orange Blossom Special
Here’s the latest addition to a superb new livestock fleet from Wales, featuring Scania’s new 540 engine
Feeding the nation
They may not be glamourous but they’re one of the biggest and most important sectors of our transport industry. So let’s shine the spotlight on some unsung heroes
Way down in the south east of Ireland, you’ll find a fleet with a whole lot of horsepower supplied by no less than seven Volvo FH16s!
Owner-driver Dan Lote’s first new truck is a stunner – but then this all-blue Daf XF 530 had to be something special to replace his much-loved first truck
Swede summer sun!
Stefan Bloeman and his friends took their old school Volvos on a tour of Europe last summer and he wrote to tell us all about it
Staying A float
After a busy 2019 shifting boats all over Europe, Ashley Peden had his world turned upside down when coronavirus struck, but he got going again with a trip to Norway which ended with some wonderful news from home
Sitting on the fence
Nick Oates and his family have built several successful businesses in the past decade within their KN Group, and his striking Renault Range T-High Low is the best advert for it – as well as paying tribute to his late wife
Hit for Six!
Scania’s new 540hp six-pot is proving the perfect match for AAD Transport, who recently took in some of the first in Scotland. We spoke to boss Alan Davie about them
Jack, 11, hits the cashpoint jackpot.. & gives it all back
A BOY has been praised for his honesty after handing back hundreds of pounds that poured out of an ATM.
EQUAL PAY RESULT FOR ASDA STAFF
Court rules against store giant
Asda workers' equal pay win
‘Massive’ case may see staff net £500m
DON'T TELL ME I CAN'T… ...make a fortune from baking
Hannah Carter was determined to make a difference with her cakes
First bog rolls..now it's dog bowl bandits
PET FOOD’S IN SHORT SUPPLY
6 things we love hot right now
From the ingredients that are selling like hotcakes to the dishes being shared most on social media, we look at what’s trending in the world of food and drink this month
What’s new, what’s hot now…you heard it here first!
Support is vital to give young people hope for the future
‘It’s easy to feel powerless in the face of unprecedented challenges’
MY LIFE MY RULES: Russell Kane
The comedian, 45, reveals why he is scared of offending anyone despite his harsh stand-up persona on stage
The STYLE EDITOR
Michela Colling, Ideal Home’s tastemaker-in-chief, shares her top news from the high street