List of supermarket chains in the United Kingdom

Tesco is the largest supermarket chain in the United Kingdom.

This is a list of supermarket chains in the United Kingdom. Grocery sales in the UK are dominated by Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's and Morrisons. These, dubbed the 'big four', had a combined market share of 73.2 percent of the UK grocery market in the 12 weeks ending 4 January 2015,[1] a decline from 74.1 percent in 2007.[2] Discounters Aldi and Lidl have seen a combined rise in market share from 4.8 percent to 8.3 percent over that time, while upscale grocer Waitrose's share rose from 3.9 to 5.1 percent.

Premier Supermarkets, a subsidiary of Express Dairies, opened the UK's first supermarket in Streatham, south London in 1951, though The Co-operative Food opened Britain's first fully self-service store in March 1948 in Albert Road, Southsea.[3]

List of current UK supermarket chains

Supermarket Image Founded
/ came to UK
Owned by 2015
of stores
Aldi Süd GmbH 5.3 2.6 1.5 560 No frills supermarket
Wal-Mart through subsidiary Corinth Services Ltd 17.1 16.6 14.1 603 Founded from the merger of Associated Dairies and the Asquith family owned Queens Supermarket, originally called ASDA Queens
Booth Family and staff - - - 28 Found in Lancashire, Cumbria, Yorkshire, and Cheshire.
Booker Group[6] 0.4 0.4 0.4 190 Found in England and Wales, with stores up to 10,000 square feet (930 m2)
Heron Foods 54 Opened in Wrexham, the business was founded by Iceland founder Malcolm Walker after his sacking by the Big Food Group.[7] Cooltrader became part of Iceland after Malcolm Walker's takeover of the business, but it was sold after a review in 2012 to Heron Foods.[8]
Co-op,* and Co-op Food
Various consumers' co-operatives 6.0 4.4 5.4 4,022 Identities shared by about 20 retail co-operatives who together have a 6.2% market share, including:

See also: The Co-operative Group#List of corporate members

- 0.7 0.5 - 320 -
Fulton's Foods
UK private company - - - 100 Small supermarket chain based in South Yorkshire with branches across the Midlands and North of England
Heron Foods
UK private company - - - 240 Primarily frozen foods; operates stores throughout the Midlands and the North
- 2.2 1.6 2.8 850 First store opened at Oswestry, Shropshire in 1970
Lidl Stiftung & Co. KG 3.7 2.2 1.3 630 No frills supermarket
Marks & Spencer
Publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange 3.8[9] 4.3[10] - 852 Clothing and food retailer
Publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange 10.9 11.2 4.9 569 Fourth biggest supermarket in the UK
Publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange - - - 0 Online only, product supply partnership with Waitrose; outsourced branded delivery partnership with Morrisons
Publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange 16.9 16.2 17.9 1,304 Superstores, as well as 'Local' and 'Central' sites
Publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange 28.4 31.6 25.0 3,493 (UK) Including Extra, Superstores, Metro, 'Express and Homeplus outlets; UK's largest all-purpose retailer
John Lewis Partnership 5.1 3.9 2.7 344 Waitrose has a variety of store styles, including:

List of defunct UK supermarket chains

These supermarkets are either no longer trading, have been renamed, or have been taken over and rebranded.

This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.
Supermarket Image Founded
/ came to UK
Fate Closed Notes
APT Stores Chain of small supermarkets with the catchphrase The Store with More.[11]
Bejam 1968 Bought by Iceland 1989 Frozen foods
Big W 1998 Discontinued, rebranded as Woolworths. 2004 21 store chain of megastores styled after Walmart in America; 7 of the stores were sold to Asda and Tesco (the stores that had permission to stock groceries) and the remaining 14 stores were rebranded and downsized under the regular Woolworths banner.
Bishops Bought by Budgens[12] 1984 63 stores in south east England
BP Safeway 1962 Dissolved following Safeway takeover by Morrisons Partnership between BP plc and Safeway, listed as Equinox retailing; some stores now Tesco Express
Brian Ford's Discount Store 1975 Bought by Tesco in 2004 2010 Opened by Brian Ford after the sale of the family Ford & Lock business to Gateway in 1974. The business opened in the former Deveres Kensington engineering building in Barnstaple, Devon expanding with an extension in 1981. The business was based on the 'cash & carry' principle. The business was purchased by Tesco in 2004 but continued to be run as Brian Fords until permission was gained to build a Tesco Extra.[13]
Burton Supermarkets Bought by Fine Fare Small Nottinghamshire based supermarket chain purchased by Fine Fare and re-branded
Capital Freezer Centres Now owned by Farmfoods Chain of freezer stores located in England and Scotland; owned by United Biscuits since 1979; a management buyout happened in 1989[14][15]
Carrefour 1970s UK business sold to Gateway/Somerfield, then later to Asda 1990
Cartier's Superfoods c.1970 Bought by Tesco 1979 Small Kent based supermarket chain taken over by Tesco
Cater Brothers 1958 Became part of Prestos 1979 Cater Brothers were a South East-based chain. In 1972 they were bought out by Debenhams after the death of the chairman Leslie Cater in the same plane crash that killed F J Wallis. In 1979 Debenhams sold the chain to Allied Suppliers who re-branded the stores under their Presto brand.
Challenge Supermarket Became part of Frank Dee Supermarket based in Yorkshire that was purchased by Frank Dee in the 1980s and incorporated into the chain.[16]
Coopers & Co Bought by Fine Fare 1955 Scotland based supermarket and grocers chain bough by Fine Fare and re-branded as Coopers Fine Fare
Cordon Bleu 1964[17] Owned by Allied Supplies Chain of freezer shops owned by Allied Supplies; stores were re-branded under the Lo-cost or Presto name
County Stores Sold to Gateway, converted to Somerfield 1990
Crazy Prices Bought by Tesco ABF owned Northern Ireland group
Downsway Supermarkets Bought by Fine Fare 1978 East Anglian based supermarket group with 80 stores owned by Vestey Group; sold in 1978 and converted to Fine Fare stores
David Greig Bought by Fitch Lovell Merged into Key Markets
DEE Discount Stores Re-branded as Gateway, later Somerfield now owned by Co-op Chain of supermarkets based in North East of England; parent company Linfood Holdings purchased the smaller Gateway chain and re-branded stores as Gateway and the parent company as Dee Corporation
Elmo Bought by Fine Fare Small chain of 28 stores based in East Anglia and the South of England; bought for £1m by Fine Fare; rebranded as Fine Fare
Fairway c.1960s Bought by Frank Dee 1980s Doncaster based chain of supermarkets bought by Frank Dee in 1980s and converted into that chain[18]
Fine Fare
1951 Bought by Gateway 1986 Britain's third supermarket until the 1980s behind Tesco and Sainsburys; bought by Gateway Corp. in 1986 and shops rebranded as Gateway by 1988
Ford & Lock 1960 Sold to Gateway 1974 36 shops across south-west England; owner Brian Ford went on to open a new store in his own name[19]
Freezeway Bought by Farmfoods Small chain of freezershops bought by Farmfoods[15]
2007 Administration in 2008, liquidated in 2009 2009 Smaller stores of former Kwik Save chain; bought out by management team led by Brendan Murtagh
Frank Dee Supermarkets Re-branded as Gateway, later Somerfield now owned by Co-op Chain of supermarkets based in North East of England; parent company Linfood Holdings purchased the smaller Gateway chain and re-branded stores as Gateway and the parent company as Dee Corporation
Galbraith supermarkets 1894 Bought by Allied Suppliers, then Argyll Group Scottish chain
Gateway Foodmarkets
1950 Rebranded as Somerfield 1992
Grandways Some stores sold to Argyll Group for their Presto chain and Kwik Save, remainder renamed Jacksons 1992/3 Regional in Yorkshire
GT Smith Bought by Co-operative Group 2002 Regional in West Yorkshire
Haldanes 2009 (including UGO stores) 2011 Went into administration 2011
Hanburys 1889 Bought by Co-Op 1997 Started in 1889 when Jeremiah Hanbury opened a small store in Market Street, Farnworth, selling butter and bacon. In 1929, the business was bought by Bolton wholesale grocers E.H. Steele Ltd. In 1997 the 31 Hanburys stores, which cover the north-west, including 8 in Bolton, were acquired by United Norwest Co-op and subsequently re-branded.
Hillards 1880 Bought by Tesco 1988 Several locations throughout Midlands, North East
Hintons Bought by Argyll Foods to become part of Presto Mainly in North East England and Yorkshire
Irwin's Stores Bought by Tesco
International 1874 Bought by Dee Corporation 1996 Stores were re-branded gateway or sold off to competitors
Jacksons Bought by J Sainsbury 2008 See also Grandways, above, which was originally part of the same group. Stores originally traded under the Jacksons name, and were slowly converted to the Grandways brand. After the sale to Sainsbury, the Jackson name was revived for a chain of smaller stores in the Wm Jackson until they were sold and were re-branded Sainsbury Local.
Kenton Supermarkets Small chain based in North West of England
Key Markets Bought by Dee Corporation Created by food giant Fitch Lovell. Re-branded as Gateway.
Kibby's Supermarkets Chain of supermarkets bought by Unigate. Stores were sold off to various companies including WM Low and International Stores.
Kwik Save 1959 Brand now owned by Costcutter Company purchased by Somerfield in 1998. Name and 177 stores sold by Somerfield in 2006 but went into administration in 2007.
Laws Stores c.1890s Bought by Wm Low for £7.1 million in 1985 1985 Chain of supermarkets focused on North East England
Lennons Supermarkets 1958 Bought by Dee Corporation Chain of Supermarkets based in North East. Started as small chain of grocers but opened first supermarket in 1956 in Widnes. Bought by the Dee Corporation before being re-branded as Gateway.
Leos Rebranded Co-op Name given to larger co-operative stores during the 1980s
Liptons 1871 Bought by Allied Suppliers Converted to Presto or Lo-Cost stores
Lo-Cost Converted to Safeway
Lowfreeze Bought by Bejam Small chain of freezer shops bought by Bejam[15]
Mac Fisheries Bought by Dee Group 1978 Wet fish shops closed
Mainstop Acquired by Morrisons 1981
Moore Stores Bought by Cavenham and added to Allied Suppliers group 1976 Chain of small supermarkets based in the North East of England which had a turnover of £53m in 1969/70[20] Rebranded either Liptons or Presto.
Bought by Asda in 2010 for £778M from Dansk Supermarked Group. 147 stores were rebranded in 2011 as Asda local stores. The remaining 47 stores have been sold off to other companies such as Morrisons and new convenience store UGO and other retailers due to competition laws. Netto then returned to UK, with a parnership with Sainsbury's and is initially opening 15 stores in the north of England.[21] In July 2016, Sainsbury's ended the joint venture, scrapping the Netto name in the UK once again. 2011 Was a no frills supermarket. On 30 September 2011, Netto UK ceased trading. In 2014, the supermarket announced they would be returning to the UK with 15 stores.[21]
Normans supermarkets Bought by Plymco
Normid Rebranded Co-op Was owned by United Co-operatives
Norco Rebranded Co-op Aberdeen based co-operative society
Orchard Frozen Foods Bought by Iceland 1986 Chain of freezer centres based in the South East of England
Premier Supermarkets Bought by Mac Fisheries 1965 Subsidiary of Express Dairies, opened UK's first supermarket in Streatham, South London in 1951.[3] Sold after losing out on purchase of Irwin's stores to Tesco
Presto 1977 After buying out Safeway, all stores were converted to Safeway 1998
Price Rite Chain of stores purchased by British American Tobacco and incorporated into International Stores; stores re-branded as International Stores, before being sold off to Fine Fare and Argyll Foods
Quality Fare Bought by the Co-operative Group
Queens Supermarkets 1958 Merged with Associated Dairies and GEN to form ASDA 1965 Small chain of supermarkets started by Asquith family in Pontefract. In 1965 merged with Associated Dairies and purchased the GEN brand, relaunching as ASDA Queens, before becoming ASDA. ASDA is an abbreviation of ASquith and DAiries.
Rainbow Discontinued, rebranded as parent Co-op
Richway Supermarkets Retail chain operating in South of England and the Isle of Wight
Safeway 1962 Bought by Morrisons 2005 Safeway Compact stores sold to Somerfield. Was still trading under Safeway in Channel Islands until becoming Waitrose in 2010.
Sainsbury's Savacentre 1977 Discontinued, Rebranded Sainsbury's 2005 Savacentre was a joint project started by Sainsburys and BHS to compete in Hypermarket scene. Sainsburys added when BHS pulled out of the company.
Saverite 1968 Bought by West Midlands Co-operative Society which later became Mid-counties Co-operative after a merger with Oxford, Swindon and Gloucester Co-operative 2000 Shropshire based grocery business started in 1869. Renamed Saverite in 1968 (from Morris & Co) and expanded into supermarkets. Sold to Mid-Counties Co-operative in 2000.[22]
Schofield & Martin Rebranded Waitrose c.1965 Small chain of grocers based in South Essex purchased by Waitrose in 1944. Had the first self-service supermarket store within the Waitrose group in 1951.
Shoppers Paradise Taken over by Gateway Discount food store chain created by Associated British Food from un-profitable Fine Fare stores. Became part of Gateway as part of Fine Fare purchase.
Shop Rite 1972 Bought by Kwik Save, Still trades as ShopRite in the Isle of Man stocking a range of Waitrose & Iceland products as well as locally produced goods 1994 Discount supermarket chain
Smiths Freezer Centres c.1990s Small chain of freezer stores located in Essex; went into liquidation during the 1990s
Somerfield 1865 Purchase agreed by the Co-operative Group on 16 July 2008 for £1.56bn; from 2009 many larger stores were sold off and smaller stores rebranded to The Co-operative Food[23] 2011
Food Giant Originally part of Somerfield group, all stores converted to Kwik Save following the Somerfield/Kwik Save merger
Solo Trading name of Gateways - rebranded Somerfield Trading name created by Gateways
St Catherine's Freezer Centres Bought by Iceland 1983 Chain of 18 freezer centres located in Bristol and South West area
Stewarts Supermarket Limited Bought by Tesco ABF owned Northern Ireland group
Stitchers Supermarkets Bought by Downsway Small chain of supermarkets purchased by Downsway and re-branded
Supernational Stores 1935 Bought by Gateway
Templeton supermarkets 1880 Bought by Allied Suppliers then Argyll Group Scottish chain, rebranded as Presto
Victor Value Bought by Tesco 1968/1986 Independent chain; larger stores were rebranded as Tesco, remaining sold to Bejam in 1986
Wallis 1955 Bought by Somerfield 2003 Founded by Francis J Wallis of Rainham Essex in 1955. By 1968 there were 38 stores. In 1977 the chain's 100 stores were sold to British American Tobacco and merged with their already owned chain International Stores. The stores were re-branded International. The company officially still existed and was wound up by Somerfield, who had purchased International Stores in 2003.
Wavy Line Small chain of small supermarkets and convenience stores located in the South and South East of England
Walter Willson Bought by Alldays Chain of small supermarkets and convenience stores in the north east of England and Cumbria
Wellworths Bought by Musgrave Group & Safeway 1997 Northern Ireland supermarket chain split into Supervalu and Safeway
Whelan Discount Stores Bought by Morrisons for £1.5 million[24] 1978 Chain of supermarkets based in Lancashire started by Wigan Athletic FC owner David Whelan
Wm Low Bought by Tesco Presence in Scotland and northern England
Williamson & Treadgold Bournemouth based grocers that opened a supermarket at The Hampshire Centre.[25] The store was eventually purchased by Sainsburys.
Woolco 1966 Discontinued, rebranded as Woolworth and later bought by Gateway in 1986 1982 Hypermarket chain started by Woolworth

Waitrose Effect

Proximity to a supermarket has been widely reported[26][27][28][29] to be an amenity that can have a significant effect on residential property prices in Britain. Beginning under Andy Hulme[30] and continuing under Mike Songer,[31] the home mortgage unit of Lloyds Bank has published pricing research that examines the premiums commanded by homes in a given neighbourhood against comparables in the same post-code and correlates the difference in price with convenience of access to the various supermarkets. The following table averages information from neighbourhoods across England and Wales, compiled by Lloyds Bank for their 2016 report using supermarket location information from CACI Datalab and house price information from the UK Land Registry.[32]

Supermarket Nearby property
premium (%)
Nearby property
premium (£)
Marks & Spencer9%£27,182

See also


  1. "Asda overtaken by Sainsbury's as UK's second largest supermarket but big four continue to slide". CityAM. 13 January 2015. Retrieved 31 January 2015.
  2. 1 2 "UK: Discounters Benefit From Downturn". KamCity. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
  3. 1 2 Helen Gregory (2001-11-03). "It's a super anniversary: it's 50 years since the first full size self-service supermarket was unveiled in the UK". The Grocer. Retrieved 2010-06-30.
  4. "Aldi overtakes Waitrose to become UK's sixth-biggest supermarket". Retrieved 19 June 2016.
  5. "Supermarket market share (UK)". Retrieved 19 June 2016.
  7. "Malcolm Walker's biography -". Retrieved 31 March 2016.
  8. "Iceland agrees Cooltrader sale to Heron Foods". Retrieved 31 March 2016.
  9. "Annual Report 2013: Performance against our plan". Marks & Spencer. 2013. Retrieved 27 July 2013.
  11. "Vintage shoppoing bags - Little Red Dog". Retrieved 11 May 2015.
  12. Competition Commission report, para 3.10 (a)
  13. "End of an era as Brian Fords closes - North Devon Gazette p.25 Jun 2010". Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  14. "Biscuits again drawing support - The Glasgow Herald p.16 Jan 1984". Retrieved 11 May 2015.
  15. 1 2 3 "Capital assets - The Herald p. 23 December 1989". Retrieved 11 May 2015.
  16. "u09456 - Picture Sheffield". Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  17. "Company Check". Retrieved 11 May 2015.
  18. "Supermarket opened at Denaby - South Yorkshire Times April 10, 1965". Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  19. "End of an era as Brian Fords closes - North Devon Gazette p.25 June 2010". Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  20. "Die Nahrungsmitteldistribution in Westeuropa. 2. Dänemark, Grossbritannien By Erich Batzer, Erich Greipl, Richard Geml, Helmut Laumer, Erich Greipl". Retrieved 17 April 2015.
  21. 1 2 "Sainsbury's & Netto stores to help create 300-plus jobs in Scunthorpe". 24 July 2014. Retrieved 19 June 2016.
  22. "Morris & Co - Heritage". Retrieved 11 May 2015.
  23. "Co-op buys rival supermarket Somerfield". AFP via Google News. 2008-07-16. Retrieved 2008-07-16.
  24. "FA Cup final: Wigan's Whelan makes poignant Wembley return - BBC Sports Website p.9 May 2015". Retrieved 30 April 2015.
  25. "Castlepoint before it was Castlepoint - Bournemouth Echo p.18 March 2015". Retrieved 19 February 2016.
  26. "Living near Waitrose boosts your house value, claims research". BBC. 3 April 2015. Retrieved 19 October 2016.
  27. "Waitrose's latest offer: £40,000 added to your house price". The Guardian. 25 July 2016. Retrieved 19 October 2016.
  28. Furness, Hannah (25 July 2016). "Living near Waitrose could add £38,666 to your house price, survey says". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 19 October 2016.
  29. Butterworth, Myra (24 July 2016). "The Waitrose effect adds £40,000 to homes but Aldi gives just £1,300: How a supermarket nearby can boost value". Daily Mail. Retrieved 19 October 2016.
  30. "Supermarkets: top of the homebuyer shopping list?". Lloyds Bank. 3 April 2015. Retrieved 19 October 2016. It's easy to assume the effect of different factors on the value of a property but this research enables us to clearly see that there is a significant association between the convenience of a local supermarket and house prices.
  31. "Living near a supermarket can bag you a £22,000 bonus on your home". Lloyds Bank. 25 July 2016. Retrieved 19 October 2016. Of course, there are many other drivers of house prices beyond having a supermarket on your doorstep, but our research suggests that it is a strong factor
  32. "Living near a supermarket can bag you a £22,000 bonus on your home" (PDF). Lloyds Banking Group. Retrieved 19 October 2016.
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