1976: First Sainsbury's in Wales opens in Cwmbran

This photo was posted on J Sainsbury’s Flickr feed today. They didn’t have the names of the people in the photo or what was happening but if you know please comment on this post.

The shop was the first Sainsbury’s in Wales and opened on 30 November 1974. I was sent this useful link to the Museum of London website and it contains a lot of interesting info and a photo of shoppers walking into the shop. Here is some info from the site

The first Welsh Sainsbury’s store opened in Cwmbran shopping precinct on 30th November 1974, with a full range of food, health and beauty, kitchenware, stationery and homeware products on offer.

There were huge crowds of shoppers for the opening and the first week’s takings exceeded company expectations by 80%. The new store proved attractive to shoppers from a wide area. Cwmbran’s new shopping centre with other big name stores and ample free parking drew in customers from Cardiff and Newport who disliked city centre shopping.

Regional specialities were not ignored: the store stocked locally sourced and slaughtered fresh Welsh lamb in its chilled cabinets. The instore bakery (which was Sainsbury’s fourth) produced fresh bread pudding from a local recipe.

Store manager Elwyn Davis recruited mostly local staff, and summed up the opening of the store as ‘Bendigedig’, which he translated for non Welsh speakers as ‘Wonderful, great, excellent all rolled into one’.

In 1984, Sainsbury’s helped fund the creation of a mural for the town centre, designed by artist Polly Hope.

During the 1980s, Sainsbury’s position in South Wales was consolidated with the opening of branches in Cardiff, Newport and Swansea. The following decade branches were opened in North Wales at Wrexham (1991) and Rhyl (1993).

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