New ways of shopping in the 50s

How to serve yourself | JLP Archive Collection
How to serve yourself
JLP Archive Collection

After war time shortages shoppers were able to experience a new way of shopping.  By the 1950s self service shops, particularly grocery shops began to replace the traditional corner shop.  Freezers and chillers were introduced to help keep goods fresher for longer, and packaging meant that the staff in the shops could spend more time filling the shelves than wrapping up individual orders.  Shops became bigger and the first supermarkets were seen across the country.  However, customers weren’t sure how to serve themselves; and in Waitrose it was decided that leaflets located in the shops could help.

This one, from Waitrose, Wimbledon, was typical of the type of material customers would have read to help them work out how to buy food in self service branches.  Smaller shops, including branches of Kinghams still prided themselves on their customer service, but by the time Waitrose opened its supermarket in North Watford self service was becoming a way of life.

Comments about this page

  • More information about self selection can be found in Self Selection 1953.   You will find it  interesting to see the local interest of this new way of shopping.

    Does anyone out there know the true identity of “Mr Jingle?”

    By Ian Hudson (16/04/2008)

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