Tesco

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home >> food & agriculture >> tesco plc
TESCO
A Corporate Profile

By Corporate Watch UK
Completed September 2004
'Our market share of UK retailing is 12.5% - that leaves 87.5% to go after' Terry Leahy, Tesco Chief Executive, quoted in Management Today 1

'Tesco will just sail away. It will become unreachable, and the Competition Commission has perpetrated that. The only thing that could bring Tesco down is its management, and they do not make mistakes' Carlos Criado-Perez, former chief executive of Safeway Plc 2 1. The Company

Name: Tesco Plc
Industry area: Retailing goods and services

Contents
Summary
Market share and importance
History - Pile 'em High, Sell 'em Cheap
Strategy
Core UK business
Non-food
Retailing services
Legal services
International expansion or world domination
International strategy
Asia
Thailand
Malaysia
South Korea
Japan
China
Europe
Turkey
Poland
Ireland
Moving in on the convenience (c-store) sector
Retailtainment
The 'Tesco' approach
Summary
Tesco, Britain's biggest and most profitable supermarket chain, is the darling of the City. But behind the fascia of the 'under one roof' out-of-town Tesco Extra, or the friendly high street Tesco Metro, lies a ruthless billion pound operation. In recent years, Tesco and its major supermarket rivals have faced criticism for abusing their monopoly positions and contributing to some of the major social and environmental problems plaguing society today. These include exploiting small farmers in the UK and worldwide and hastening their replacement with industrial monoculture plantations where wages are low and labour rights are minimal; undercutting almost every other retailer and hence turning our town centres into boarded-up ghost towns; co-operating with climate criminals, Esso; as well as numerous other corporate crimes. This profile was updated in 2004 as a reflection of Tesco's continued meteoric rise over the last few years, with all the attendant social and environmental impacts. Market share and importance:

'No matter how fast we grew Sainsbury's were always in front of us. But slowly but surely we managed to grind them down and grind them out.' Tim Mason, Tesco marketing director 3
In 1995 Tesco overtook Sainsbury’s as the UK’s largest supermarket. In 2001 Tesco occupied 15.6% of the UK grocery retail market and was the market leader by 6%.4 Tesco's enormous share is still growing: by September 2004, it had increased to a massive 28%, around 12% more than its nearest market rival, Asda.5 Some would argue that if we were to include Tesco's share of the convenience store market (bizarrely considered a seperate sector by UK competition authorities) in this figure, Tesco could be said to control 34% of the grocery market. Considering how concentrated and cut-throat the 'supermarket' market is, this is quite an achievement. In the UK, Asda's only real shot at catching up with Tesco would have come from a merger with Safeway, which was disallowed by the competition authorities 2003. However, Asda's parent company, Wal-Mart, the...
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