As a dedicated long-term partner, Sainsbury’s will be joining the Thank You movement in commemorating the First World War Centenary. Together with The Royal British Legion, Sainsbury’s will say Thank You to all who served, sacrificed and changed our world.
At the heart of local communities over two World Wars, Sainsbury’s has always held a unique and special relationship with those affected by war. Through a 24-year partnership with The Royal British Legion, Sainsbury’s has been able to support members and veterans of the British Armed Forces along with their families and dependants, by making it easy for customers to offer Remembrance and thanks to those who fought and gave their lives for Britain.
When the war began in 1914, Sainsbury’s was resourceful in its attempt to combat the inevitable food shortages and rising costs of goods. Posters and adverts promoted alternatives to increasingly scarce family favourites, alternatives such as cooked meats and Crelos Margarine. A month into war and ever rising prices, Sainsbury’s lowered the costs of its meats as a sign of commitment to keeping prices low and providing support to the community.
Sainsbury’s also advertised for 200 female staff to join the company to replace the departing male colleagues who were required to join the war effort. This elicited thousands of applications and by the end of the war there were 39 female branch managers. These were often sisters and wives of peacetime managers.
John James Sainsbury donated substantial amounts of his own funds towards war relief, while enabling and encouraging communities to do so too. He instructed stores to install collection boxes and made a public promise to add sixpence of his own money to every shilling raised. This marked the beginning of Sainsbury’s commitment to fundraising for Britain’s Armed Forces.
In honour of the work of John James Sainsbury and the First World War generation, Sainsbury’s joined The Royal British Legion in saying Thank You whilst inspiring their local communities to join them.
"We’ve been an official supporter of The Royal British Legion and its Poppy Appeal for almost 25 years. We are proud to stand behind the ‘Thank You’ movement to remember the First World War generation and our nation’s shared heritage."Mike Coupe, CEO of Sainsbury’s
Header image: Image ©The Sainsbury Archive, Museum of London Docklands.