The third generation
Alan Sainsbury, first son of John Benjamin and grandson of founder John James joined the company in 1921 aged 17. He began his career working alongside his uncles as a buyer. This was a very important job that at this stage was only held by Sainsbury family members. He became experienced in all areas of the business, spending time in branches and using his skills as a trained accountant.
He became a director of the company in 1933 and Joint General Manager with his brother Robert in 1938. In 1956 he became Chairman and then the company President in 1967. Alan Sainsbury was created Baron Sainsbury of Drury Lane in 1962.
Robert Sainsbury was the second son of John Benjamin and also took an active role in the firm. He joined the company in 1930 and became a director in 1934. Together with his brother Alan, Robert was Joint General Manager, looking after the accounts, personnel and administration side of the company from 1938. He became Chairman in 1967 and then President in 1969. Robert Sainsbury was knighted in 1967.
James Sainsbury was the son of Arthur Sainsbury and grandson of John James, and began working for Sainsbury’s in his late teens. One of his early responsibilities was to oversee the design of a new model factory at Blackfriars.
The factory opened in 1936, replacing the old kitchens that his father had once managed. He was later responsible for the development of Haverhill Meat Products, which was sited from his uncle Frank’s farm business. He became a company director in 1941.