Shopping in Victorian times

Horse and cart delivery driver

In Victorian times it was very difficult to keep perishable food fresh.  Most people would go shopping every day to buy small amounts of what they needed. As there were no large supermarkets they would often have to go to lots of different shops. Shops opened six days a week, sometimes seven. They would stay open in the evening until the last customer left. Poor people would often buy from markets or street sellers as these were cheaper than shops.

This picture shows a Sainsbury’s delivery driver. Sainsbury’s first shops were in poorer parts of London and their customers were working class people. Later they became a Provision Merchants.  This was a type of shop that sold a range of goods to better off people. Customers could have their goods delivered to their homes. Many also had accounts at the shop. This meant that they did not pay in cash but were sent a bill each week.

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