Martin Vander Weyer Martin Vander Weyer

Masters of the chain gangs

Recent research tells us that the average British shopper is destined to spend two years of his or her life inside a supermarket. Ever since ‘Mr Alan’ Sainsbury, third-generation head of the grocery dynasty, converted his Croydon branch to self-service in 1950 — and despite the fact that one of the first customers threw her wire basket at him in disgust — these cathedrals to consumer choice and convenience have loomed larger and larger in the national landscape.

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