There is an interesting piece in the Telegraph today – What’s gone wrong and can Tesco fix it? – which is getting highish hits.

For those who have the time and commitment, it would be good to comment thread there, leaving a url link to the original Slog piece, which is here.

As they say, Every Lidl helps.

Tesco share price down 12%, papers full of negative articles about where they’ve gone wrong. Does no harm to tell people where they’ve gone wrong, hmm?

Dear Drain Alert

Ready to join in yet?

67 thoughts on “TESCO TRICKS UPDATE

  1. They are discussing it in The Times too (but behind a paywall). From a leading article (http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/opinion/leaders/article3285081.ece):
    “Mr Clarke admitted that Tesco had driven productivity too hard in Britain, skimping on investment and staff numbers in its shops. This boosted short-term profits but stored up problems for the future. As rivals such as Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons have raised their games, the chickens (Finest Free Range Corn Fed) have come home to roost.”


  2. Being very late here in NZ, I am pondering over the term drain alert. Does it mean like a blocked drain, that stops the flow, or a slow drip of blood, which takes ones energy away, or both? .


  3. Right let me get this straight – Tesco are suffering because people have voluntarily decided (for whatever reasons, be they hatred of their business practices, or just monetary ones) to take their custom elsewhere. And this happened without any great fanfare, no mass campaign, just lots of people choosing whats best for them. And now Tesco have to think long and hard about how to get them back. Correct?

    How can this be? Are not Tesco the Evil Vampire Squid of retailing? Cannot they just compel people to enter their stores and buy their products? After all the only reason they got so big was underhand practices wasn’t it? Surely they can’t be beaten by people just walking away now can they?

    History is littered with massive companies that just disappeared over time due to the creative destruction of the market place. Tesco is no different – however big it may have become, if it fails to satisfy its customers, in the long run its toast, like any retail business.


  4. Tesco is not going bust. This morning,you could grant a June 2013 320p put option at 48p,which is a pleasant way of profiting from not visiting their stores.


  5. The first thing they need to do is pull out of the US, the deathbed for all European retailers. That will stop tjhe bleeding there with a final tally of about £1 billion down the drain. Then they can turn to the home market and provide better quality and service as well as selected Asian markets where they are doing better.


  6. I have an aside to all this: if Tescos goes down, contracts or anything else, will it lead to a better provision of decent local stores?

    After all, it was the delight of moving here to Holland to find family owned shops thriving in the middle of towns and cities. Here is an example that has existed for quite a while near to where I used to live in Utrecht: two ironmongers in the middle of town (the Oudegracht – prime location) and practically next door to one another. There is a warehouse-style B&Q lookalike around 1km away, called Gamma – the Dutch were never very good at spelling ;-)

    Their addresses, just for clarity:

    IJzerh. Fa. Gebrs. Veenendaal, Oudegracht 116, 3511 AW, Utrecht

    The other is Pijper Utrechtsche IJzerhandel W, Oudegracht 120, 3511 AW


  7. There is another reason why a number of people are disenchanted with Tesco. Its support for that wonderful expression of that beautiful, deeply spiritual, and example of British culture at its best, the coming – Gay Pride 2012 even coming to a city near you – like London. Tesco protests it expresses the “diversity” of its work force.
    Tesco has received a torrent of opposition to this and their “customer relations” are backpedalling like mad. When Tesco’s CEO says: “Our support implies no moral, philosophic or political stance it is not an expression of Tesco’s views” , one can only respond with incredulity – it most certainly does! Does he really believe the British public are so naive?
    Does he really believe that endorsing Gay Pride is somehow a neutral policy? At the very least it is guilt by deliberate association.
    Also, what has the “diversity” of his staff got to do with selling groceries? Come on Tesco. Pull the other one!
    In effect Tesco is expressing all three, as Gay Pride exhibitions and marches etc certainly involves these elements.
    In the “gay” agenda we are not talking about an unfortunate, or inherited sexual tendency in a tiny minority of single individuals here, but rather a world-wide, very well organised, and militant political ideology, masquerading under the ‘innocent’ objective of “rights”. Their objective is to compel submission to this ideology by all and any means through intimidation, court actions, and massive press publicity directed at all who have the temerity to disagree with them. The pretence is that “gay” is some sort of freedom loving liberation movement. Far from it. The “gay” lobby is the most bigoted, agressive, and intolerant movement in existence in the UK today.
    Goodbye Tesco. Hallo Morrisons, Sainsburys, LIDLE, and all their ilk.
    Its not as if they own the market as their trading loss of £5 BILLION just reported would indicate!


  8. Don’t forget that this is also running parallel with a determined, established campaign by Christian groups who were repelled by Tesco’s sponsorship of a “Gay Pride” event. (Tesco ceased supporting cancer research when they did this) .Similar Church-based groups had previously tried unsuccessfully to get Tesco to identify lamb which had been Halal slaughtered – so a head of resentment was already building up. This particular cup ran over when a senior Tesco executive publicly described those Christians opposed to same sex, so-called marriages as “evil”.


  9. One should be careful with all charities-many are indeed “fake” i.e. mere lobbyists rather than performing any real good. Others are just useless.
    Some years ago I had a client who was letting a property and then selling the investment. Because of the economic plight of the client, a well known cancer charity was offered a large premium to take the lease on extremely good terms for the charity. The charity’s very expensive lawyers messed about until it was too late. The result-the charity still took the lease on the same terms but did not get the very large premium-and no doubt their lawyers fees were greater.
    Since then I have never given a penny to that charity. If they can afford to forego such a lot of money, and waste more on too expensive lawyers, they surely don’t need any more money.


  10. My wife often comes home with tales of two smaller being cheaper than the big bumper pack. I used to put this down to some genuine stock clearance regime. She goes wherever the deals are, and I didn’t keep notes, so I don’t know if this problem is exclusive to Tesco. However, on a rare retail foray to help with the Christmas shopping I went to Tescos. The pricing was so complex that I gave up looking at the headline prices, and only referred to the small print price/weight or volume. This also helps with brand comparisons. So Tescos are not being evil, just following the age old practice of taking from people with more money than sense. If they irritate their customers they will change, so your campaign is likely to be more immediately successful than a political campaign.


  11. I tried to get to the bottom of the “one-in-eight-pounds-spent-in-Tesco” which Sky News called an ‘urban myth’ last night. One in eight is 12.5%. Tesco’s 2010 UK sales were £38.6bn. The ONS says households spent £106 a week in 2010 on the sort of things Tesco sells. 23.6m households makes an annual spend of £130bn. Tesco therefore 30%.

    Alternatively, ONS household spending on everything was £474 producing £582bn. Tesco 7%.

    Alternatively, the government says household consumption was 62% of GDP in 2010. That would be £902bn. Tesco 4%.

    I’m giving up now, but wonder if the ‘myth’ suits Tesco.

    I would add that I’ve got nothing against the place myself, but do not confuse it or any of the other supermarkets with a real discounter like Costco.


  12. @Edward, Mick

    Have I gotten something wrong here, but aren’t Christians supposed to be forgiving? After all, if they forgave those who do wrong, would it not make a better argument for sinners to repent?


  13. costco are not always as cheap as they appear
    the example I know of was lemonade
    costco used to sell Sch.. you know who cheaper than supermarket own and the taste benefit was marginal. With bottle size changes and price rises they don’t now


  14. Dunc
    Would you have kicked Mussolini/Stalin/Madoff/ etc when they were down? I would – with steel tips on my boots.
    Further disgraceful evidence of Tesc O’Fraud this pm…


  15. William
    I don’t want Tesco to go bust. I want them to make squillions without being arseholes.
    Like Waitrose, or JLP, or the Nationwide, or the Coop.


  16. Adamsez
    A lot of hard work, for which I thank you: we need more of this.
    What your comment suggests to me is that most statistics do not bear examination: so your thread is a timely reminder of that.


  17. Gemz. “Have I gotten something wrong here, but aren’t Christians supposed to be forgiving? After all, if they forgave those who do wrong, would it not make a better argument for sinners to repent?”

    Yes, you’ve gotten something wrong. Christians forgive people when occasion demands, but not necessarily large impersonal corporatist organisations which engage in all manner of deceit, immoral practice, and whose aim is to destroy all smaller legitimate traders in whatever town both seek to operate. Also, if you have ever seen a “Gay Pride” event, then you will begin to understand why Tesco shoppers desert them for supporting such a load of putrid garbage.
    Corporate organisations do not “repent” of anything – except of course any misguided policy which may diminish their profit returns.


  18. Dear DA
    Your time at the genealogy site has not been wasted. No, I’m not.
    He lives about half a mile from me, and he is as the Americans say full of it. There is a rumour that several pensioners in the area who’ve gone missing may hold the key to the success of his latest dish, Langue de Wrinklee. But Hugh Fairly-Wolfsitall was not available to confirm or deny this, fully engaged as he was shedding tears at the fate of factory-grown spinach.
    At Oxford his nickname was Hugh Fairly-Longname. Round here is is more commonly referred to as Lardarse.


  19. JW, I was just trying to point out a way to finance Sloggers’ wine consumption in these difficult times,as Phil Clarke’s confession kindly handed me the 2012 budget in a blink.


  20. Has anyone mentioned what the British farmers think of Tesco?
    Not a lot, they’ve been screwed too much for too long by the Tesco Cowboys.


  21. Tesco have many ways of extracting extra money for those of us not alert to their little tricks. Wine offer racks filled with wine not on offer. Meal deals, where sandwich + crisps + drink = offer,say £3.00. Crisps and or drink available are not offer size so total = £4.00. These are not real prices but I’m sure you get what I mean.
    Examples seen in Tesco on the Fulham Rd, opp Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and Tesco combined with Esso on the new Kings road W6.


  22. Gemz, that’s the question that most evangelical/hard line religious folk; be they Christian, Muslim, or Jewish never seem to have an answer for.


  23. “At Oxford his nickname was Hugh Fairly-Longname. Round here is is more commonly referred to as Lardarse.”

    I just wish the guy would wash his hair occasionally.


  24. This all reminds of an Andy Capp cartoon published seemingly aeons ago. From memory, Andy was selling racing pigeons to his mate Chalky and offering them to him at a bargain price: “A shilling each or two for half a crown.”

    It would appear that not a lot ever changes!


  25. @Graham

    This seems to me to be part of the problem, for an organization must be made out of individuals. These individuals are forgive-able. I know there is no such thing as an “honest banker”, but this does not mean that an individual banker cannot be forgiven should they see the error of their ways.

    It would seem that the lack of forgiveness leads to a harder line of reaction. The pride events around where I lived in Utrecht are usually pretty sensible affairs that involve generous quantities of music and laughter.

    I will add that it is not a question of Christians “forgiving when occasion demands” it is a necessity of a Christian “forgiving at any and every opportunity”.


  26. Got to admit I came out with a bit of a headache after all the mental arithmetic and myriad of half price signs I had to negotiate on a recent “Fact finding” visit.
    I won’t be back – will stick to my Asda/Lidl/Nisa expeditions.
    May be deliberate – information overload.

    Another day above ground.


  27. Doesn’t take long………

    Antony Worrall Thompson stole some cheddar? How dairy!

    I went to see Ready Steady Cook the other day. It was fantastic. Antony Worrall Thompson absolutely stole the show.

    Why did the chicken cross the road? Because it was stuffed up Worrall Thompson’s jacket.

    Antony Worrall Thompson has been caught shoplifting milk, yeast and flour from his local Tesco. He’s clearly run out of dough.

    There’s no such thing as a free lunch. Unless you’re using the Worrall Thompson recipe book.

    Antony Worrall Thompson stole some cheese and wine. And that was only for starters.

    Wozza was caught stealing cheese from Tesco. He should have done it more Caerphilly.

    I don’t care what he’s done, I’m still hanging on to my Antony Worrall Thompson blender. Better the Breville you know

    Asked how he feels about stealing cheese, Antony Worrall Thompson admits it wasn’t very mature..


  28. @Jon

    Somehow I feel “kill them all, God will know his own” is not to be found in the Gospels, even the apocryphal ones. I have a sneaky suspicion that the Abbot in charge could have done better to have turned the other cheek!

    What is more, the Cathars were so anti-materialist that they abhorred sex – all he need have done was to wait and they would have died a natural death sans offspring.


  29. @Gerry

    is it a fact that people in the UK only buy on price? When I take a walk around my local supermarket, if the product being advertised isn’t one I usually buy, it is pretty unlikely that it will get bought in preference to the one I like the taste/smell/feel of.

    Of course, if it is, then I buy a month’s worth …


  30. Quote- The “gay” lobby is the most bigoted, agressive, and intolerant movement in existence in the UK today.- Unquote
    I do not favour any kind of financial backing for any ‘minority’ it is descriminatory. And Charities, as I have mentioned before, are just tax free businesses and Lobbyists ( powerful ones at that) guess who will be getting the NHS CONTRACTS? Tesco are reviled for many reasons, there was a huge furore a few years ago about land grabbing/aggressive posturing to aquire land for ‘housing’ and supermarket on green belt. watch this space now we have a ‘housing’ crisis. They are also loathed by the farmers and growers of produce for their appalling profit margins offered for produce. Then the ‘pricing problem’ and then the Christian stance of their belief that homosexuals are evil or whatever it is they believe. All adding up to a hatred by the public. Having said that, they have just opened up in India, next stop… Somalia and Africa in famine areas. I live too far away from tesco thankfully! Diversity eh? what a corker!
    I just wonder what the problem with selling Halal meat was; It is the best practice for fresh meat,less stressfull for the beasts,more hygenic and tastes much better! you don’t have to be Muslim or Jew to have a preference I always prefer to buy Halal. Not for religious reasons, for ethical ones and taste.


  31. @Gemz.
    “is it a fact that people in the UK only buy on price? ”
    Dunno – can only speak for myself – I generally stick to products I like unless a large price difference makes me try out another. If I don’t like it I switch back.( Food items that is) On products that don’t make much difference ( Toilet Rolls/kitchen towel, shoe polish etc. – I generally buy on price – comparing price per sheet or gm depending on the product. If a new store opens I generally give it a try.
    Other people may be different.


  32. (Reuters) – A senior German lawmaker Friday accused ratings agency Standard and Poor’s of playing politics, saying the U.S. agency should also downgrade Britain if it downgrades France as expected.

    Michael Fuchs, deputy leader of the parliamentary group for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats, said S&P had a distorted view of the euro zone and that downgrades of its member states were politically motivated.



  33. “The pretence is that “gay” is some sort of freedom loving liberation movement. Far from it. The “gay” lobby is the most bigoted, agressive, and intolerant movement in existence in the UK today.”

    And seem to have the human rights charity Liberty at their beck and call, but we must all be very very careful and walk on eggshells lest we offend the Friends of Graham Norton and have the police bang bang banging on our doors for hate crime.

    There’s possibly another reason that Tesco isn’t doing very well sales wise, I can’t back this up with statistics though, its just a theory based on my own personal experience and observations. The pedestrian crossing to the Tesco in Stafford is dreadful, you have to cross three busy roads and have to have nerves of steel and the ability to rotate your head 360 degrees in order to cross it with any hope of not ending up in Stafford A and E. If they have the same contempt for their pedestrian customers in other towns perhaps a lot of their customers got run over before they were able to do their Christmas shopping?


  34. “I just wonder what the problem with selling Halal meat was”

    You haven’t been to the Halal meat shop by the 101 bust stop on Soho Road Handsworth then, you can smell it before you get to the bus stop, poo!


  35. Not a bad start to the new year then as events follow the slogs topics:-)

    Tesco’s profits down as consumers dessert them following a slog issued fatwa.

    France losses triple A rating

    Ed Miliband now firmly established as a national joke

    Next can we please have a topic about Alex Salmond so I can gleefully read about fate dealing him some terrible mishap in the near future (thus saving the union).

    Perhaps the Sunday papers will then read SNP leader chokes on Tesco sausage roll (that had been wrongly overpriced in 2 for 1 promotion).

    Maybe 2012 wont be so bad after all :-)


  36. ” so I can gleefully read about fate dealing him some terrible mishap in the near future (thus saving the union).”

    No need for that Mark. Dave, Nick and Ed are going to save it for us (or for themselves).
    btw Tesco sausage rolls not great anyway – Greggs much better IMHO.


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