RepositorySpecial Collections Archives (GB 0029)
Ref NoEUL MS 326
Date19th century-1960s
Extent60 linear feet approx [19 meters]
TitleSomerfield supermarket and related organisations: papers
DescriptionThe collection dates from the 19th century when the company was named J H Mills to the 1960s, prior to the renaming of the company as Somerfield. The collection includes ledgers of accounts, minutes for AGMs and directors' meetings, share certificates etc and other official records for Somerfield. The Canadian entrepreneur Garfield Weston bought into UK supermarket outlets in the 1950s and 1960s and the collection also contains records from these related companies including Fine Fare, ABC, Melias, and Sheen and Sons.
Admin HistorySomerfield plc was a UK based chain of supermarket and food retail outlets which was taken over by the Co-operative Group in 2009. The origins of the company can be traced to 1875 when a grocery store was opened by J H Mills in Bristol. In 1900 J H Mills became a limited company with 12 stores and in 1950 was turned into Gateway, when a Bristol finance house, Tyndall, became the major shareholder. The 14 J H Mills shops were then converted to become self-service type supermarkets. In 1964 Frank Dee took over the wholesaler which was part of the original Mills company. In 1970 Garfield Weston's Associated Foods purchased the Frank Dee chain and it eventually became part of the Linfood Holdings Group. In 1977 Gateway was taken over by Linfood Holdings Limited increasing the number of Gateway stores to 100 throughout the country. By 1983, Linfood Holdings was renamed The Dee Corporation, and this company in turn absorbed other retail chains, including International, Lennons, and Fine Fare. In 1988 The Dee Corporation was renamed The Gateway Corporation. The first Somerfield store was launched in 1990, with the new format positioned upmarket from Gateway and designed to compete more directly with the stores of rivals J Sainsbury plc, Tesco PLC, and Safeway plc. When the company was taken over by the Co-operative group in 2009 the name was phased out.
Access StatusOpen
Related MaterialCambridge University hold papers concerning Gateway / Dee scholarships at NHAR 2/6 (see: <;recurse=1>).
Access ConditionsUsual EUL arrangements apply.
ArrangementArranged as originally catalogued.
Finding_AidsUnlisted. See box list for list of company names (326/1)
Creator_NameSomerfield Stores Ltd
Mgt_GroupHistorical papers
Social science and law papers
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