Before the appearance of the modern supermarket there were large numbers of small privately owned grocery shops throughout the country, all supplied by wholesale grocery and provision merchants. One such company was G. H. Kidson Limited, based at 34 Wadham's Hill, Wolverhampton.

An advert from 1892.

Kidson’s also had a shop at 19 North Street, which is listed in the 1902 Wolverhampton Red Book, and survived until the area was redeveloped in the 1960s. In 1954 the company expanded with the acquisition of a similar business in Lichfield.

An advert from 1911. Courtesy of Sheila Young.

G. H. Kidson imported a wide range of produce from many countries including Ireland, Europe, America, and New Zealand. All kinds of grocery items were stocked, including the following:

butter margarine lard
cooking fats bacon cheese
meat cooked meat dried fruit
sugar tea cereals
canned foods:    
vegetables fish meat
fruit fruit juice syrup
treacle milk soup

Shops were supplied within a 25 mile radius of Wolverhampton, and goods were delivered to customers within 48 hours of an order being placed with one of Kidson’s representatives, who travelled throughout the area and advised customers about the latest products, special offers, market trends, and trading conditions.

The company's headquarters at Wadham's Hill.
Kidson's shop in North Street can be seen to the right of the cafe, with a car parked outside.

Courtesy of David Clare.

The Lichfield branch, acquired in 1954.
The accounts section in the office.
People at work in the order assembly warehouse.
Part of the butchery department.
The cheese cellar, which was maintained at a constant temperature.
Dry goods and cereal store.
Goods reception, despatch warehouse, and loading bays.
The ham cooking installation.
The loading bays and delivery fleet.
A corner of the despatch warehouse.
The sales representatives and their cars.
The sugar packing department.
The small grocery warehouse at the Lichfield branch.
G. H. Kidson Limited closed in April 1968 after being taken over by Alliance Wholesale Grocers.

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