SAINSBURY'S Crystal Palace opened at 9.30am on Monday, April 25, 1983, at 120-122 Whitehorse Lane.
The supermarket was part of a development at Selhurst Park, the Crystal Palace FC ground. The store was the third Sainsbury's supermarket to open in 1983 and opened six days a week, with late-night shopping available five days a week. The store closed three hours before kick-off on the day of first-team home matches.
At the opening, the sales area was 37,707 square feet – double the size of the nearby store at the Whitgift Centre – and stocked more than 8,000 different product lines.
The Crystal Palace store also offered an array of breads, including baguettes made from French wheat flour in the store's bakery. A counter service delicatessen department stocked more than 140, lines including a wide variety of fresh fish, fruit and vegetables.
The wine department carried a larger number of lines than stores in the locality, including the highly acclaimed Sainsbury-label wine. Fresh orange juice, squeezed and bottled at point of sale, was also on offer.
Other departments included greeting cards, stationery, baby requisites, electrical accessories, toiletries, hosiery, ceramic tableware and textiles.
The store's opening created 485 jobs and total employees numbered 553; 199 were full-time and 354 were part-time members of staff, with 68 staff members transferring from other stores. All staff were trained in areas of key importance, including courtesy to customers, hygienic handling of food and prompt service.
The store had 37 twin-bay checkouts and special wide-aisle checkouts for customers with mobility difficulties. Specified express checkouts were designated to cut down on queueing and payment times. These were for customers paying by cash only. The store had a special feature, an automatic telling machine (cash point), which was installed at a later date.
This gave it the ability to dispense cash to customers, a service that was at the time not widely available outside banking facilities.