As you walk around London, you will start to see some of the same names and their awnings over and over again. These are good to keep in mind so that in the event you need anything during your stay, you’ll know what to look for.
The two largest supermarket chains in London are Sainsbury’s and Tesco. It’s hard to walk for long without seeing one or more of these stores, sometimes just a minute or two apart from one another. These are generally open until 10 or 11 pm, except on Sundays when some locations close early.
There are different sizes of these stores as well. The smallest and most common around London are the Sainsbury’s local and Tesco express. Despite their smaller size, these stores have pretty much everything you need for daily use, including fresh groceries, toiletries, cleaning supplies, and alcohol.
Sainsbury’s also has large supermarkets throughout London, which carry all kinds of household, clothing, and appliance items in addition to being a full-fledged grocery store. These are merely called Sainsbury’s. Tesco, on t he other hand, has two additional sizes larger than its express size: Tesco Metro and Tesco Superstore. Tesco Metro stores are medium-sized and are more common throughout London. Tesco superstores are hard to come by.
Waitrose and Marks and Spencer are similar to Sainsbury’s and Tesco, but are generally considered a bit more upscale. The sizing for these stores is also similar, with smaller convenience stores being more prominent. M&S is a bit different, though, in that it was originally a retailer of clothing, home products and more luxury food products and later expanded into the supermarket business. As such, they have quite a few of the large department stores around town in addition to their smaller food outlets.
Boots is the main pharmacy chain in London. Though it is primarily a pharmacy, it also sells a full range of health and beauty products in all of its locations, in addition to packaged foods, beverages, and snacks.