Tesco

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Topics: Tesco
4.1 Tesco China

The author spent nearly two years working for Tesco in Shanghai, its key location in China, in the HR and Marketing functions. This Tesco case study explores the approach and problems in other Asian markets that Tesco has entered earlier, to help better understand it general market entry and growth strategy. It has a greater emphasis on Thailand, since it has had the longest presence there. The Thai experience has highlighted a range of Tesco criticisms and government attempts at legislation to control Tesco which have been repeated in a few other countries. It then focuses on the China experience so far.

4.1.1 Introduction

Tesco is Britain No. 1 grocer, the biggest and most profitable supermarket chain in the UK. It is also one of the most successful global expansionists from the UK in the last 10 years. Now Tesco is Europe's second largest supermarket after the French firm Carrefour, and is the fourth largest supermarket business in the world. It operates 1,878 stores in the UK, 261 stores in Europe and 179 stores across Asia, and plans to open 184 stores worldwide in the next 3 years.
Tesco has drawn many critics as a result of its “apparent” success. They claim that 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 canters into boarded-up ghost towns; co-operating with climate criminals such as Exxon; as well as numerous other corporate crimes. (Julia Finch, The Guardian 6/3/04)

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