The Hillards Archive Project

Hillards Supermarket was a family run, national, supermarket chain based predominately in the North of England, with a large number of stores in Yorkshire. Found in 1885 as a single high street store in Cleakheaton, West Yorkshire, it grew to a chain of over 100 stores. Ultimately, Hillards was acquired by Tesco in 1987 in a hostile takeover bid that was hard fought on both sides.

Hillards does not feature as it should in the history of the development of the British supermarket sector. It is often the case that history is written by those left behind, the winners. Companies that have been taken over are often forgotten, perhaps because the records are lost or not kept. Hillards is also interesting as it disappeared at a time when many small and medium sized family own companies where being taken over in the UK.

The major aims of the Hillards Archive project is to gather materials related to the history of Hillards supermarket, create an archive of the company, and record its place in history of the supermarket sector. This includes company records, and oral histories.

This project is support by a grant from the British Academy of Management, and hosting for this website is provided by the University of York.

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