Wednesday 24th September
Tesco has been forced to admit an “Accounting Error” in its reporting in the region of 250 million pounds, this has con-incided with the arrival of a new Chief Executive who I suspect had discovered that these shenanigans have been going on and has decided that “truth”, or a version of it, is the best course. The Supermarket sector has so dominated our lives for years that we take it for granted, but I can remember a time before Supermarkets. I can remember the first Supermarket opening in Stowmarket and how everyone was so excited. I can also remember a squalid poky nasty Tesco store in Leyton where it literally was pile ‘em high, sell ‘em cheap. I can remember the brand new Tesco built on the site of the old swimming pool, the old shop opposite appropriately turned into a pound shop. I can remember Christmas Shopping at a huge out of town Tesco Hypermarket, which at the time was a novelty. I can remember the introduction of Clubcard points, and receiving the vouchers in the post.
And Tesco is still the biggest Supermarket chain; for years it was neck and neck with Sainsbury but pulled ahead a few years ago. Then along came Asda, newly bought by American company Walmart which specialized in low prices and squeezing suppliers. Then along came Morrisons, swooping down from the North of England to snap up smaller failing chains. And now we have the continental invasion by Aldi and Lidl. And Tesco is suffering the most. It seems to have lost its way. For a while it tried to emulate M. & S. and Waitrose by going up-market, and then tried aggressive discounting which has also failed. The trouble is that it just got too big and the public felt it was being ripped off, which undoubtedly it has been for years by the big Supermarket groups. Tesco will survive, will carry on making huge profits and may have a complete change of strategy, maybe moving into finance or coffee shops, who knows? But the brand may have to change. Unlike Virgin, which you can sell anything with that brand on, Tesco has become something to avoid.