Queen visits new staff-less Sainsbury’s store for retailers 150 birthday

The queen

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth went to Sainsbury’s on Wednesday and was greeted by Lord Sainsbury to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the retailer.

Sir John who is the great grandson of the supermarket showed the Queen around replicas of old shops floors, from the 1950s to modern day.

She was shown how shoppers now use the self-service tills and how to pay for your shopping using a mobile phone, she did not try this but did cut the commemorative birthday cake.

While being shown how to use the self-service check-out, she asked: “You can’t cheat?”

Reassured by Damien Corcoran, a regional manager for Sainsbury’s stores in the north east of England, that the weighing scale would catch out any unscrupulous shoppers, the Queen was told how people put items from their baskets on the scales, key in details, and normally pay with credit cards.

When the manager claimed many people liked the convenience of being able to do it themselves, she replied: “I’m sure they do. Everybody wants to hurry.”

Mr Corcoran also showed her how some shoppers now dispensed with tills altogether, choosing instead to pay via a mobile telephone app. “That’s an interesting tool,” the Queen, who is 93, replied.

While the Queen is not a regular visitor to supermarkets, she has previously made official visits to shops including a 2016 trip to Waitrose in Poundbury with Prince Philip, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall.

Off duty, she is said to occasionally pop into shops in Ballater near Balmoral when she is staying on her Scottish estate.

During her visit to Sainsbury’s in Covent Garden, the Queen was shown around mocked-up store fronts from history.

The pop-up store, only a few hundred yards from where Sainsbury’s first set up in business on a stall at 173 Drury Lane in 1869, is open all week for the company’s 150th celebrations.

During a half hour visit, the Queen saw a replica of the firm’s first delivery bike, used to take goods to customers in Croydon, south London, before seeing counters displaying the first three items the shops sold: butter, milk and eggs.