J Sainsbury plc, trading as Sainsbury's, is the second largest chain of supermarkets in the United Kingdom,[3] with a 16.0% share of the supermarket sector.[3]

J Sainsbury plc
TypePublic limited company
Founded1869; 152 years ago (1869) in Holborn, London, United Kingdom
FounderJohn James Sainsbury
HeadquartersLondon, England, UK
Number of locations
1,428 shops (March 2019)
Area served
United Kingdom
Key people
Lord Sainsbury (Life President)[1]
Martin Scicluna (Chairman)
Simon Roberts (CEO)
ProductsHypermarket/Superstore, supermarket, convenience shop, forecourt shop
Revenue £28.993 billion (2020)[2]
£986 million (2020)[2]
£152 million (2020)[2]
Number of employees
111,900 (2020)[2]

Founded in 1869 by John James Sainsbury with a shop in Drury Lane, London, the company became the largest retailer of groceries in 1922. In 1995, Tesco overtook Sainsbury's to become the market leader, which has since been ranked second or third, being overtaken by Asda from 2003 to 2014, and again in 2019.[4][5] In 2018, a planned merger with Asda was blocked by the Competition and Markets Authority over concerns of increased prices for consumers.[6]

The holding company, J Sainsbury plc, is split into three divisions: Sainsbury's Supermarkets Ltd (including convenience shops), Sainsbury's Bank, and Argos. As of 2021, the largest overall shareholder is the sovereign wealth fund of Qatar, the Qatar Investment Authority, which holds 14.99% of the company.[7] It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.