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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 "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-op 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 Current Market Share [4] 2007 Market Share[2] 2000 Market Share [5] Number of Stores Notes
Aldi 100px
Aldi Süd GmbH 5.3 2.6 1.5 530 No frills supermarket
Asda 100px
Wal-Mart through subsidiary Corinth Services Ltd 17.1 16.6 14.1 577 Founded from the merger of Associated Dairies and the Asquith family owned Queens Supermarket. Originally called ASDA Queens.
Booths 100px
Owned by the original founding family North West of England and Yorkshire
Budgens 100px
Musgrave Group Found in England and Wales, with stores up to Script error: No such module "convert".
Co-op,* and The Co-operative Food 100px Various Co-op societies 6.0 4.4 5.4 Identities shared by about 20 retail co-operatives, including:

see also The Co-operative Group#List of corporate members

CK's Supermarkets
Welsh Based supermarket founded in Llandeilo
Farmfoods 100px
0.7 0.5 320
Filco Foods
Welsh Based supermarket founded in Llantwit Major
Fulton's Foods 100px
Uk Private Company Small supermarket chain based in South Yorkshire with branches across the Midlands and North of England
Heron Foods
UK Private Company Primarily frozen foods, operates 170 stores throughout the Midlands and the North.
Iceland 100px
2.2 1.6 2.8 first store opened at Oswestry, Shropshire in 1970.
Lidl 100px
Lidl Stiftung & Co. KG 3.7 2.2 1.3 No frills supermarket
Marks & Spencer 100px
Publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange 3.8* (separate measure)[6] 4.3 [7] Clothing and food retailer
Morrisons 100px
Publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange 10.9 11.2 4.9 Fourth biggest supermarket in the UK, over 450 stores
Ocado 100px
Publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange Online only, partnership with Waitrose & Morrisons
Sainsbury's 100px
Publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange 16.9 16.2 17.9 592 supermarkets and 611 convenience stores Superstores as well as 'Local' and 'Central' sites
Tesco 100px
Publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange 28.4 31.6 25.0 Including 'Extra', 'Superstores', 'Metro', 'Express' and 'Homeplus' outlets. UK's largest all-purpose retailer
Waitrose 100px
John Lewis Partnership 5.1 3.9 2.7 Waitrose has a variety of store styles, including;
'Waitrose Stores',
'Waitrose Convenience Stores and Little Waitrose',
'John Lewis Foodhall',
'Waitrose Food, Fashion & Home',
'Waitrose Food & Home' ,
'Welcome Break outlets' (Motorway Services Outlets).
Whole Foods Market
Publicly traded on NASDAQ Entered the UK with the acquisition of seven Fresh & Wild stores.
Wing Yip 100px
UK private company Chain of Chinese supermarkets based across the UK

List of defunct UK supermarket chains

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

Supermarket Image Founded/Came to UK Fate Closed Notes
APT Stores Chain of small supermarkets with the catchphrase The Store with More.[8]
Bejam 1968 Bought by Iceland 1989 Frozen Foods
Bishops Bought by Budgens[9] 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
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, was owned by United Biscuits since 1979. A management buyout happened in 1989.[10][11]
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.
Coopers & Co Bought by Fine Fare. 1955 Scottish based supermarket and grocers chain bough by Fine Fare and re-branded as Coopers Fine Fare.
Cordon Bleu 1964[12] 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 Bought by Gateway
Fine Fare 1951 Bought by Gateway 1986 Britain's third supermarket until the 1980s behind Tesco & Sainsburys. Bought by Gateway Corp. in 1986 and shops rebranded as Gateway by 1988.
Freezeway Bought by Farmfoods Small chain of freezershops bought by Farmfoods[13]
FreshXpress 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 Supermakets 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
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 byUnigate. Stores were sold off to various companies including WM Low and International Stores.
Kwik Save Closed branch of Kwik Save in Warrington, 13 July 2007 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[14]
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.[15] Rebranded either Liptons or Presto.
Netto 100px
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 is soon returning to UK, in a partnership with Sainsburys and is initially opening 15 stores in the north of England.[16] 2011 Was a no frills supermarket. On 30 September 2011, Netto UK ceased trading. In 2014, the supermarket announced they will be returning to the UK with 15 stores.[16]
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 centers based in the South East of England
Premier Supermarkets 100px 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 Presto Food Market, Cheltenham, 1982 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 Asscoiated 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 (UK) 100px 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 100px 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 Mid-counties 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.[17]
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 100px 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 [18] 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 Wilson 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.[19] 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
Woolco Bought by Gateway - Now part of Asda Hypermarket chain started by Woolworths

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. ^ a b "UK: Discounters Benefit From Downturn". KamCity. Retrieved 28 September 2014. 
  3. ^ a b 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. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Annual Report 2013: Performance against our plan". Marks & Spencer. 2013. Retrieved 27 July 2013. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Vintage shoppoing bags - Little Red Dog". Retrieved 11 May 2015. 
  9. ^ Competition Commission report, para 3.10 (a)
  10. ^ "Biscuits again drawing support - The Glasgow Herald p.16 Jan 1984". Retrieved 11 May 2015. 
  11. ^ "Capital assets - The Herald p. 23 December 1989". Retrieved 11 May 2015. 
  12. ^ "Company Check". Retrieved 11 May 2015. 
  13. ^ "Capital assets - The Herald p. 23 December 1989". Retrieved 11 May 2015. 
  14. ^ "Capital assets - The Herald p. 23 December 1989". Retrieved 11 May 2015. 
  15. ^ "Die Nahrungsmitteldistribution in Westeuropa. 2. Dänemark, Grossbritannien By Erich Batzer, Erich Greipl, Richard Geml, Helmut Laumer, Erich Greipl". Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  16. ^ a b
  17. ^ "Morris & Co - Heritage". Retrieved 11 May 2015. 
  18. ^ "Co-op buys rival supermarket Somerfield". AFP via Google News. 2008-07-16. Retrieved 2008-07-16. 
  19. ^ "FA Cup final: Wigan's Whelan makes poignant Wembley return - BBC Sports Website p.9 May 2015". Retrieved 30 April 2015.