Tesco PLC is a British multinational grocery and general merchandise retailer headquartered in Cheshunt, United Kingdom. It is the third-largest retailer in the world measured by after Walmart and Carrefour and the second-largest measured by profits. It has stores in 14 countries across Asia, Europe and North America and is the grocery market leader in the UK, Malaysia, the Republic of Ireland and Thailand. The company was founded in 1919 by Jack Cohen when he began to sell surplus groceries from a stall at Well Street Market, Hackney, in the East End of London. The Tesco brand first appeared in 1924. The name came about after Jack Cohen bought a shipment of tea from Thomas Edward Stockwell. He made new labels using the first three letters of the supplier's name (TES), and the first two letters of his surname (CO), forming the word TESCO. The first Tesco store was opened in 1929 in Burnt Oak, Edgware, Middlesex. His business expanded rapidly, and by 1939 he had over 100 Tesco stores across the country. Originally a UK-focused grocery retailer, since the early 1990s Tesco has increasingly diversified geographically and into areas such as the retailing of books, clothing, electronics, furniture, petrol and software; financial services; telecoms and internet services; DVD rental; and music downloads. The 1990s saw Tesco business motto was "pile it high and sell it cheap", to which he added an internal motto of "YCDBSOYA" (You Can't Do Business Sitting On Your Arse) which he used to motivate his sales force. This was successful, and saw the chain grow from 500 stores in the mid-1990s to 2,500 stores fifteen years later. Tesco is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. It had a market capitalisation of approximately £24.4 billion as of 15 January 2012, the 15th-largest of any company with a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange.
In May 1987...
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