View Full Version : Tesco's Dominance Grows

28th Aug 2005, 07:44
Their share of the UK food market is now above 30%

Wal Mart is complaining to the government about this (perhaps a bit rich coming from them, but then again they only have 10% of he US market)

We can listen to other supermarket chiefs though

Last month Sir Ken Morrison, chairman of the Wm Morrison supermarket chain, told City analysts that Tesco was using selective discounts to lure shoppers from his newly refurbished stores. Sir Ken cited the example of the Isle of Wight, where, after the opening of a new Morrisons store, Tesco had sent vouchers giving shoppers 15 off every 40 spent a discount of almost 40% ref Sunday Times

So should the government intervene?

We know what the power of supermarkets are these days and the disgraceful way they treat smaller suppliers. We've debated this before on PPRuNe.

Krystal n chips
28th Aug 2005, 08:25
It seems to be a standard Tesco tactic re the discount--they did the same when they opened the outlet in Stockport adjacent to the M60--which not only induces chaos on the slip roads but was also "rather larger than the planning permission granted"---quelle surprise --but as the "extra space" was only for storage and not retail then seemingly there was not a lot could be done--and no Council are going to demand the building be removed now are they??----unlike a mere pleb member of the public who may have built a fence 2mm's to high of course !:rolleyes:

Tesco's dominance in south Manchester is quite interesting however. They have a site in Altrincham, Wythenshawe, Sale, Didsbury, Stockport and now want another at Burnage. As a "rough" guide--say no more than 5 miles between each site --saturation coverage--in contrast to North Manchester that is.

As for Morrisons though-----no sympathy at all !!!---the philosophy of dogmatic Yorkshire dinosaur comes to mind here--not to mention the low quality of food, service and technology that seem to be prevalent in their outlets----I will concede on the wine selection and fish however.

28th Aug 2005, 08:27
Tesco appear to have at least one of HM Government in their camp, a certain deputy PM.

The fiasco of the Gerrards Cross store planning and building rumbles on. The scheme, where the railway on the Chiltern Line from Marleybone to Birmingham was to be covered over and infilled on top, in order to construct a new store, was only given planning approval by Two Jags, after failing at all stops on the way.

The store was not wanted by the local community and is less than seven miles from 4 other Tesco stores. It has caused the closure of many local stores already and will ruin the town.

Because of defects in construction, the tunnel collapsed some 8 weeks ago, totally blocking the railway, which only reopened last week. This has caused massive inconvienience and financial loss to many people.

Tesco should receive as much bad publicity as possible for this ill conceived venture and should be made to abandon it.

The locals, MP's, councellors all want to run Tesco out of town!

Krystal n chips
28th Aug 2005, 08:32
IB4138----strangely enough----IKEA have had their application to build a new site not a million miles from the new Tesco's in Stockport repeatedly rejected---by the very same person--how curious :rolleyes:

28th Aug 2005, 08:34
Tesco appear to have at least one of HM Government in their camp, a certain deputy PM

Probably get a discount on his weekly food bill:)

28th Aug 2005, 10:05
Probably get a discount on his weekly food bill

And I'm quite sure he bady needs a discount, I can imagine his weekly food bill is rather on the high side.

28th Aug 2005, 10:24
Never mind food consumption...what about the unleaded for his fleet of expensive cars!:suspect:

28th Aug 2005, 10:32
Tesco's must be doing their sums though for all the new stores they're opening. The chief accountant on a financial course I did last year gave us some examples of how other companies work. Tesco's do the research and won't build a new store unless they're certain that they'll recoup the costs within 2 years of it opening.
Personally I don't have a 'problem' with them, but my house is situated equidistantly between a Sainsbury and a Tesco :-)


28th Aug 2005, 10:48
Prefer Waitrose. Better shopping experience.

28th Aug 2005, 11:08
Couldn't agree more - all our food comes from Waitrose - and the quality is like no other supermarket i've ever come across. So what it's a bit more expensive, but you only live once. Overall, the quality of Tesco's own brand products is abismal. Go shop at Waitrose ( if you can afford it ) and see what you're missing ! ( still get all your branded stuff from Trashcos though cos it cheaper ! )

28th Aug 2005, 11:36
Nevertheless, if you have a weekly farmer's market in your town/village/city - please visit them - just to keep the good things going. They usually have a good bacon sarnie wagon going and nice local tomatoes.

Maude Charlee
28th Aug 2005, 11:42
Poor old Ken! I have to say it's just a bit rich that he's complaining about being screwed over by Tescos (or any other retailer for that matter) seeing as that's exactly what he does to his store staff.

The bespectacled one should have stuck to what he knew and what he was good at, and that was retailing in the north of England. The south is a totally different kettle of fish, which he really doesn't understand, and his company has grown far too large for him to be able to exercise his personal control over.

I spent 2 years working for the miserable old [email protected], and knew most of his directors at the time too. Virtually all of them had started with the company from leaving school as barrow boys or warehouse lads and worked their way up from there. Canny retailers and crafty old buggers, but they made sure that they had the worst levels of pay in the sector and worked their staff (managers especially) like slaves - a 70 hour week for a 4 figure salary was pretty normal.

No sympathy for the whinging old git.

28th Aug 2005, 12:36
Rollingthunder is spot on. I try and buy as much as I can from the local farmers. I find the quality is much better as well, the vegetables are actually tasty (as opposed to the cardboard you get in supermarkets) as is their pork and free range chickens etc

Support your local Farmers!

Papa Charlie
28th Aug 2005, 12:37
Have a look here and sign up! Tescopoly (http://www.tescopoly.org/)


28th Aug 2005, 13:35
Support your local Farmers! If I understand the system behind modern industrial farming, the only farmers you'd find at a local market are the minority that are still truly independent and have some control in the sales / distribution of their produce. Otherwise, the impression I have is that yer average MI farmer has become a mere contractor dependent on a much larger enterprise. For example, farmer B raises the chooks from week X to Y which have been supplied by farmer A. They're paid what the contractor (yet another sub-contractor to the big chains in reality) have determined it should cost the farmer for this specific service. And not a penny more.

If I suffered from paranoia, I'd put forward the suggestion that the reason the big chains do it this way instead of owning their own farms is:

A) They don't have to have capital tied up in farmland and other facilities.

B) If there's a health-scare, they're not actually in the front-line and suffer less if at all.

C) They can reasonably escape accusations of "owning" the vertical chain in the monopolistic sense.

It might be very interesting to know whether there were any links between the big chains, their shareholders / investors, the bigger farmers / farming groups / land-holders on the one side and on the other, EU subsidies and why not EU competition policy... :zzz:

Lon More
28th Aug 2005, 13:48
Seems the rot starts at the top (http://www.financialdirector.co.uk/accountancyage/news/2019011/public-sector-dame-shirley-rocked-fresh-audit-report), plus there's more (http://www.sundayherald.com/37893)

28th Aug 2005, 14:03
Jeez Lon, that looks pretty nasty. 1 million acres in Scotland owned by Offshore companies? some of them potentially dubious ones? Very bad.

Amazing the things that go on that we the public don't have a clue on

28th Aug 2005, 14:14
All that land owned by offshore whatevers...

...Isn't that a bit like uhmmm, colonialism...?! :*

+'ve ROC
28th Aug 2005, 17:36
Can I throw a pedantic spanner into this?

It is Tesco, not Tesco's/Tescos... unless of course one is refering to the dominance 'belonging to' Tesco.;)

28th Aug 2005, 17:43
I swear that just the other day here on the Cote d'Azur, I saw a couple on their way to the beach carrying a Tesco shopping bag. It's been sometime since one was last in UK, but has Tesco become a status symbol back in UK?!

The significance of it escaped me at the time, but upon reflection, one wonders if it had not been Boss Raptor on hols? The young lady did look awfully young... ;)

28th Aug 2005, 18:18
Well so what?

I can remember a time when 5 was an awful lot of money to me, and we really struggled to get by from week to week, the only place we could afford to shop was the local major supermarket, (which just happened to be Morrisons, but equally it could have been Asda or Tesco), and I remember putting up a village counciller against the wall because he dared to question why I wasn't buying milk form the local milkman at 35p per pint instead of Morrisons at 23p per pint.

Simple economics folks, I can now afford to have my groceries delivered by Waitrose, but I don't, I buy locally in the village or locally based businesses for most things and use the supermarket for the rest.

Twas ever thus and ever will be.

28th Aug 2005, 18:40
Tesco, Sainsburys, Waitrose, whoever. Their stores are convenient. That's what we want. Service from any of them varies, depending on the management style of individual stores. For example, Waitrose Milton Keynes is crap when compared to Waitrose in Horley. Wal-Mart West Palm Beach is better run than Wal-Mart Miami. And so on. Supermarkets are here to stay whatever you think.

28th Aug 2005, 19:18
I smell the McDonald's syndrome emerging here. The bien-pensants and the snobs and the sneering brigade can't stand McDonald's because, above all. they are successful. They train very ordinary staff to produce a consistently high-quality product that - horror! - people like to buy. Result, McD's the biggest restaurant group in the world. (By the way, before anyone mentions quality, I used to work in the food business and the McD specs are as good as it gets).

Now Tesco have the cheek to offer high quality cheap food and other products. They are tough on their suppliers, but isn't that called a free market? Their success has probably done more to raise poor people's standard of living than any Government.

Farmers' markets are fine for those with the cash and the leisure to use them, but they are irrelevant to the marketplace as a whole.

Keep up the good work, Mr. Tesco. At the moment I buy your groceries, I have a bit of cash in one of your savings accounts, I have one of your mobile phones and you insure my car. If your quality slips or your prices go up, I shall be off to a competitor - but you knew that, didn't you?

28th Aug 2005, 19:38
I don't have a problem with McDonalds being successful but I wonder why they are.

'High-quality product'??

I have eaten in McDonalds about twice in the last 5 years and both times the food was not good - the chicken was plasticky and re-formed and it was served luke-warm. To add insult to injury, both times the server got the order wrong - having been told twice what we wanted, because they didn't appear to understand it the first time.

The queues continue to be 12 deep - do people really think they are buying a quality product here? Just shows how undiscerning the public are.

Sorry, Unwell_Raptor. I do however shop at Tesco from time to time and I find them reasonably good! :D

Lon More
28th Aug 2005, 20:11
Their success has probably done more to raise poor people's standard of living than any Government

Back in mid 1970s, the then Mrs. More, a Dutch market gardener's daughter, complained bitterly about the food in the UK - especially the vegetables. Things have indeed changed. My local Tesco's/Sainsbury's/Morrison's/corner shop have now a much wider choice than I can get from the equivalent in the Netherlands. And the opening hours are a lot more convenient.

28th Aug 2005, 20:43
Funny - I actually think their stores are quite good. Have the stuff I want and at a price that seems ok. Their Finest range is very good too.

29th Aug 2005, 01:22
Guys, there is an excellent book called "Shopped: The Shocking Power of British Supermarkets" which spills the beans on what really goes on.

Tesco, ASDA, Safeway, Sainsbury, Waitrose, Morrison's and Marks & Spencer control 80% of the British food market. They make more money out of selling value-added processed c**p than they do out of genuinely good food. It's clear that not enough shoppers know what exactly is in those ready-made meals that they buy, dried glucose, mono- and di-glycerides, sodium triphosphate, disodium diphosphate, sodium ascorbate etc etc all having terrible effects on the human body.

A lot of facts in this book were startling, far from creating jobs, every time a large superstore opens, there is a net loss of 276 jobs; two thirds of butchers have gone out of business in the last twenty-five years; during 2001 one small newsagent closed very day and researchers predict that by 2050 there will be no independent food stores left in the UK.

29th Aug 2005, 03:44
The corner shop doesn't offer a periodic 5p off every full litre of petrol if you spend more than 50. Or sell a litre of Bell's for 13.49 (16+ in my corner shop). That's a visible discount on essential groceries.

29th Aug 2005, 09:09

5p!! That's incredible savings! That'll help pay for my new house.....

30th Aug 2005, 05:53
Nevertheless, if you have a weekly farmer's market in your town/village/city - please visit them - just to keep the good things going. They usually have a good bacon sarnie wagon going and nice local tomatoes.There's a 'farmers market' in Hatfield right next to the Asda car park. Haven't seen many farmers there though, only the usual barrow boy suspects. Having it there seems to benefit both sides, though one sees a lot of Asda trolleys being wheeled around the market.

The reason why I prefer to use supermarkets is convenience. You get everything you need all in one go, wheel the loot to the boot and get away home with the minimum time wasted on shopping. In my youth Saturday morning was a misery of wandering from one end of Stockton market to the other, checking prices at various stalls and then traipsing round a second time lugging great shopping bags full of stuff. Then you had to haul it all the way home on the bus. Mind you, Gran was still doing it until she was 89 so I suppose the exercise did her good.

Supermarkets get my vote every time and I don't begrudge the owners one little bit. As for putting the little men out of business - Keith Thomas, you screwed me big time for peanuts when I was a teenager, now Asda's got yours - good riddance!

Tesco, Asda, Waitrose or Sainsbury, they're all OK with me :ok:

30th Aug 2005, 10:52
Something that has only been mentioned in passing by a few people is taste and quality.

Anyone buying fresh, locally produced food will know it is far superior to the tasteless long shelf life crap sold in supermarkets. Not just fresh produce either. Buy a tin of good quality tomatoes and another one of 'own brand'. You'll appreciate why the latter costs a third of the former when you compare the contents, insipid bits floating in watery pap.

One World22 hit the nail on the head with his/her mention of the book 'Shopped' which tells all. The big chains dictate what their suppliers grow. No surprise there but are their decisions based on what we would like? You wish. More likely what looks nice (never mind taste) and what will stay on the shelves longer before going off.

Shoppers in Europe, particularly the south, laugh at the stuff we eat and the way we buy it. Spain produces much of our fruit and salads but wouldn't have a hope in hell of selling those rock-hard tasteless lumps in their own country. No fault of theirs. It's what the supermarket orders and what we meekly buy.

Supermarkets negotiate discounts in advance from their suppliers for buying in bulk, say 50,000 tons of spuds. They sell well and the supermarket returns to the (canny) grower who happens to have an extra 10,000 tons which they take. Come pay day do they pay at the agreed price? Do they heck. They push for a larger retrospective discount on the basis that had they known at the beginning of the season they'd sell more they would have negotiated a lower price.

They also do the opposite. Order a quantity which the farmer plants then, for whatever reason, cancel the order leaving the poor sod with fields full of produce and no buyer. Oh, and all the packing equipment he bought at their insistence on his hands.

Buy one get one free. Who do you think gives the customer the free one, the supermarket? Yeah, right! The manufacturer has to stump up. You know those little advertising cards (barker cards) that sit on the edge of the shelf with recipes for whatever they're selling? The supermarket dreams them up but insist the manufacturer pays for them. If the promotion fails, tough.

New lines. Supermarkets have been known to demand lump sum, up front payments from producers to begin stocking their produce. No money, no sales.

No doubt someone will cry 'free enterprise' but it's gone too far for that. The big chains have a stranglehold. Any producer bold enough to speak out is blacklisted.

We've allowed them to squeeze out the specialist shops which will never come back and can look forward to spending the rest of our days pushing trollies along aisles filled with whatever has the highest profit margin.

Next time you do your weekly shop ask yourself how much choice you have. Do you think that brand of ketchup got on the eye-level shelf by accident or did the manufacturer pay for the privelege?

30th Aug 2005, 11:34
I don't use them here in Ireland, as they make more profit through their many stores here than they do in any other country they operate in - they can **** off until they cop themselves on as far as I'm concerned. One example - a mate of mine, married with 2 kids switched from Tesco to ALDI mainly, he reckons (and he's one of the people who would know) that he saves 3-3,500 Euro per year on his family grocery bills.......

30th Aug 2005, 12:46
7gcbc and Flintstone tell it as it is....

Mrs SD is a supplier to the French Supermarkets. The prices she sells at are INCLUSIVE of Transport costs and preparation, all the Supermarket does is put it on the shelves....

.....The mark up is between 110 - 150% minimum!!! Always at least Double the price ....And they are always after 'Promotions'....

In her opinion the worst one over here is Carrefour......So much so that we wont shop there any longer. You have been warned!!


30th Aug 2005, 14:09
Great contribution from the guys above, well done and thanks for making it a great discussion.

I support free trade without hestitation and that's in fact what I'm doing by trying to stick up for the small guy and asking for fairness. Supporting big, unfair monopolies who also happen to sell products that are bad for your health is not standing up for free trade or true marlet economics.

Monopolies/oligopolies are right at the other end of the spectrum

30th Aug 2005, 14:24
I had always suspected much of what's been said here but the book and a bit of research really opened my eyes.

As Mrs F does all the shopping I have to tread carefully as shopping at farmers markets, high street butchers etc add to her workload but the quality is so much better.

Ever use supermarket minced (ground) beef for cooking? How much fat comes out when you cook it? Ever wonder why those lovely plump chicken breasts exhude white stuff like poached egg when you cook them? It's water. You're paying for water. This is a common trick with pork too. I saw a packet marked "Added brine for extra moistness". It's fecking water!!

I know it's easy to save money by shopping at Aldi and Carrefour but what do you end up putting in your and family's mouths? I'd rather pay the extra thanks even if it means eating slightly less (no bad thing in my case).

30th Aug 2005, 15:36
We have recently switched from Tesco in a two phase plan. We buy the essentials at Morrisons now, roughly about 20% cheaper per week. Phase 2 is to use the local market for the fresh produce.

Thus we will spend probably the same amount but get better quality fresh meat and fish.

Since we live in an area where a lot of veg is grown (a lot of it for the supermarkets as well) there are loads of farm shops to choose from.

It is really eye opening to see how these organisations have got manipulation down to a fine art.