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[edit] Formation

First self service Tesco, St Albans, England

Jack Cohen founded Tesco in 1919[3] when he began to sell surplus groceries from a stall in the
East End of London. The Tesco brand first appeared in 1924. The name came about after Jack
Cohen bought a shipment of tea from T.E. Stockwell. He made new labels using the first three
letters of the supplier's name (TES), and the first two letters of his surname (CO), forming the
word "TESCO".[5]

The first Tesco store was opened in 1929 in Burnt Oak, Edgware, Middlesex. Tesco floated on
the London Stock Exchange in 1947 as Tesco Stores (Holdings) Limited.[6] The first self
service store opened in St Albans in 1947 (still operational in 2007 as a Metro),[7] and the first
supermarket in Maldon in 1956.[6]

During the 1950s and the 1960s Tesco grew organically, but also through acquisitions until it
owned more than 800 stores. The company purchased 70 Williamsons stores (1957), 200 Harrow
Stores outlets (1959), 212 Irwins stores (1960), 97 Charles Phillips stores (1964) and the Victor
Value chain (1968) (sold to Bejam in 1986).[8]

[edit] Management and strategy changes

Founder Jack Cohen was an enthusiastic advocate of trading stamps as an inducement for
shoppers to patronise his stores. He signed up with Green Shield Stamps in 1963, and became
one of the company's largest clients.[9]

In 1973 Jack Cohen resigned and was replaced as Chairman by his son-in-law Leslie Porter.
Porter and managing director Ian MacLaurin abandoned the "pile it high sell it cheap"
philosophy of Cohen which had left the company "stagnating" and with a "bad image".[10] In
1977 Tesco launched "Operation Checkout" with the abandonment of Green Shield stamps, price
reductions and centralised buying for all stores. The result was a rise in market share of 4% in
two months.[10]

[edit] 1980s
In May 1987 Tesco completed its hostile takeover of the Hillards chain of 40 supermarkets in the
North of England for £220 million.[11]

[edit] 1990s

Tesco at Seacroft, Leeds. This was built as a redevelopment of the 1960s Seacroft Civic Centre.

In 1994, the company took over the Scottish supermarket chain William Low. Tesco successfully
fought off Sainsbury's for control of the Dundee-based firm, which operated 57 stores. This
paved the way for Tesco to expand its presence in Scotland, which was weaker than in England.
In 2006 Inverness was branded as "Tescotown",[12][13] because well over 50p in every £1 spent on
food is believed to be spent in its three Tesco stores.[14]

In 1995, Tesco became the UK's market leader in the supermarket sector, beating
Sainsbury's.[citation needed]

Tesco introduced a loyalty card, branded 'Clubcard', in 1995 and later an Internet shopping
service. As of November 2006 Tesco was the only food retailer to make online shopping

Terry Leahy assumed the role of chief executive on 21 February 1997, the announcement having
been made on 21 November 1995.[16][17]

On 21 March 1997 Tesco announced the purchase of the retail arm of Associated British Foods
which consisted of the Quinnsworth, Stewarts and Crazy Prices chains in the Republic of Ireland
and Northern Ireland, as well as associated businesses for GB£640 million.[18] The deal was
approved by the European Commission on 6 May 1997.[19] This acquisition gave it both a major
presence in the Republic of Ireland, and a larger presence in Northern Ireland than Sainsbury's
which had begun its move into the province in 1995.

In 1996, the typeface of the logo was changed to the current one shown on the top of the page
with stripe reflections underneath the typefaces as Tesco used them on their carrier bags. The
"typewriter" typeface that the company had been using since the 1970s for its in-store signage
was also dropped during this period.

In 1997, Tesco Stores Limited and Esso Petroleum Company Ltd (now part of Exxonmobil
Corporation) came together to form a business alliance. The agreement included several petrol
filling stations on leases from Esso, where Tesco would operate the store under the Express
format. In turn, Esso would operate the forecourts and sell their fuel via the Tesco store. Ten
years later, over 600 Tesco/Esso stores can now be found across the United Kingdom.

[edit] 2000s

Trolley shelter

In July 2001 it became involved in internet grocery retailing in the USA when it obtained a 35%
stake in GroceryWorks.[citation needed]

In 2002 Tesco purchased 13 HIT hypermarkets in Poland; to date there are over 350 Tesco
Stores in Poland and this portfolio is still growing with the introduction of Tesco Express stores
around all major cities.[citation needed] It also made a major move into the UK convenience store
market with its purchase of T & S Stores, owner of 870 convenience stores in the One Stop,
Dillons and Day & Nite chains in the UK.[20]

In October 2003 it launched a UK telecoms division, comprising mobile and home phone
services, to complement its existing Internet service provider business. In June 2003 Tesco
purchased the C Two-Network in Japan.[21] It also acquired a majority stake in Turkish
supermarket chain Kipa.[citation needed]

In January 2004 Tesco acquired Adminstore, owner of 45 Cullens, Europa, and Harts
convenience stores, in and around London.[22] In August 2004, it also launched a broadband
service. In Thailand Tesco Lotus was a joint venture of the Charoen Pokphand Group and Tesco
but facing criticism over the growth of hypermarkets. CP Group sold its Tesco Lotus shares in

In late 2005 Tesco acquired the 21 remaining Safeway/BP stores after Morrisons dissolved the
Safeway/BP partnership.[citation needed]

In mid 2006 Tesco purchased an 80% stake in Casino's Leader Price supermarkets in Poland.
They will be rebranded into small Tesco stores.[citation needed]

On July 14, 2007, fourteen Tesco stores across the UK were temporarily closed after a 'bomb
scare' and a criminal investigation launched after threats were made.[23] A 'suspect device' was
found in one store on July 16, 2007 causing the store and surrounding area to be sealed off while
the Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit disposed of the package.[24]

In 2007, Tesco joined forces with O2 in Ireland to form Tesco Mobile, using the 089 prefix.
Tesco owns 50% of the network, with O2 owning the remainder. Tesco has not built its own
network in Ireland, but uses the O2 infrastructure already in place, similar to the arrangement in
the UK. By doing this, Tesco has saved money and already has 99.6% population network
coverage and 95% geographical coverage.

In 2007 Tesco was placed under investigation by the UK The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) for
acting as part of a cartel of five supermarkets (Safeway, Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Sainsburys)
and a number of dairy companies to fix the price of milk, butter and cheese. In December 2007
Asda, Sainsburys and the former Safeway admitted that they acted covertly against the interests
of consumers while publicly claiming that they were supporting 5,000 farmers recovering from
the foot-and-mouth crisis. They were fined a total of £116M. Tesco, which maintains that it was
not a part of the cartel, is still under investigation by the OFT.

[edit] Corporate strategy
      An "inclusive offer". This phrase is used by Tesco to describe its aspiration to appeal to
       upper, medium and low income customers in the same stores.[citation needed] According to
       Citigroup retail analyst David McCarthy, "They've pulled off a trick that I'm not aware of
       any other retailer achieving. That is to appeal to all segments of the market".[25]
           o One plank of this strategy has been Tesco's use of its own-brand products,
               including the upmarket "Finest" and low-price "Value".
      Tesco implemented the Clubcard rewards program to gather necessary customer
       information, which it then used to cater to specific customer needs and potential wants.
       When shoppers signed up for the card, they automatically submitted their age, gender and
       address. Tesco was able to segment their shoppers based on these factors. As soon as the
       shopper used the card when shopping online or in-store, purchased product information
       was automatically uploaded into Tesco database. Product information was used to cross-
       sell additional products and services such as grocery delivery services.[26]
      Beginning in 1997 when Terry Leahy took over as CEO, Tesco began marketing itself
       using the phrase "The Tesco Way" to describe the company's core purposes, values,
       principles, and goals[27] This phrase became the standard marketing speak for Tesco as it
       expanded domestically and internationally under Leahy's leadership, implying a shift by
       the company to focus on people, both customers and employees[28].

[edit] Brand image

Tesco operates a "good, better & best" policy for its products, encompassing several product
categories such as food, beverage, home, clothing, Tesco Mobile and financial services.

      Tesco Value - These products minimise Tesco's costs, including simple packaging to
       keep the retail cost as low as possible. This range has recently expanded into small home
       electrical items like kettles, toasters, microwaves, vacuum cleaners, food steamers,
       blenders and floor heaters. The packaging of these products is in a standard design across
       the whole range and is increasingly being removed from the ranges in many stores.
      Tesco Brand - Standard products at "mid range, own label store prices".
      Tesco Finest - These products use "superior" ingredients and in some cases, Tesco claim
       they are designed/recommended by top chefs. Has also moved into the Non-Food
       segment of the market, with Finest Health and Beauty, Home and Clothing lines being
       stocked in Extra stores.
      Healthy Living/Light Choices - Usually contains lower fat, sugar and salt content than
       in standard Tesco Brand.
      Organic - Tesco's own brand range of organic foods, has also moved into the Non-Food
       market, with organic bedding and clothing planned.
      Tesco Kids - Brands aimed at children, although this range is being phased out in certain
       areas and replaced with a dual branding with Disney.
      Best Of British - British speciality foods.
      World Foods - Speciality foods from around the world.
      Tesco Wholefoods - Range of natural, unprocessed products such as, dried fruit, seeds &
      Tesco Bakery has pastries and breads baked daily, including cookies, although many of
       these items tend not to be produced in store, with the stores own bakery preferring to
       focus its resources on faster selling items[citation needed]
      Free From - Food that does not contain certain ingredients (e.g. wheat, gluten, dairy &
      Tesco Christmas - Seasonal goods that Tesco only stock during the Christmas period.
      Clothing at Tesco - comprising several exclusive brands including Cherokee, Stone Bay,
       True and F+F (formerly Florence for women, and Fred for men) - Tesco's own clothing
      Technika/Digilogic - Range of Tesco own brand electrical items (from DVD players to
       televisions and computers).
      Tesco Mobile - Tesco's own mobile network has 5 pay as you go tariffs; Value tariff,
       Standard tariff, Standard Plus tariff, Extra tariff and the Staff Tariff for employees.
      Cocopia - A range of premium boxed chocolates made in the UK and Ireland exclusively
       for Tesco. Similar to Hotel Chocolat.

In order to protect its brand image, and given its expansion plans in Thailand, Tesco has recently
been employing a policy of launching defamation proceedings. In November 2007, Tesco sued a
Thai academic and a former minister for civil libel and criminal defamation. Tesco is claiming
that the two pay £1.6m and £16.4m plus two years' imprisonment respectively. They have been
alleged to have misstated that Tesco's Thai market amounts to 37% of its global revenues,
amongst criticism of Tesco's propensity to put small retailers out of business.[29]

[edit] Advertising

Tesco's main advertising slogan is "Every little helps". Its advertisements in print and on
television mainly consist of product shots (or an appropriate image, such as a car when
advertising petrol) against a white background, with a price or appropriate text, e.g. "Tesco
Value", superimposed on a red circle. On television, voiceovers are provided by recognisable
actors and presenters, such as James Nesbitt, Jane Horrocks, Terry Wogan, Ray Winstone, Neil
Morrissey, Martin Clunes, David Jason and Kathy Burke among others.

[edit] Corporate tax structure
In May 2007 it was revealed that Tesco had moved the head office of its online operations to the
tax haven of Switzerland. This allows it to sell CDs, DVDs and electronic games through its web
site without charging VAT.[30] The operation had previously been run out of the tax haven of
Jersey, but had been closed by authorities who feared damage to the islands's reputation.[30]

In February 2008 a six month investigation by The Guardian revealed that Tesco has developed a
complex taxation structure involving offshore bank accounts in the tax haven of the Cayman
Islands.[31] Tesco is in the process of selling its UK stores, worth an estimated £6 billion, to
Cayman Island based companies set up by Tesco. These companies then lease the stores back to
Tesco. This arrangement enables Tesco to avoid an estimated £1 billion tax on profits from the
property sales, and also to avoid paying any tax on continuing operation of the stores, as the rate
of corporation tax in the Cayman Islands is zero. Tesco have defended this arrangement, saying
it has a duty to organise its affairs in a tax-efficient manner, and pointing out that the corporation
already pays a lot of tax, including VAT on behalf of its customers, and PAYE and National
insurance contributions on behalf of its employees.

Following these revelations, several MPs called for an inquiry into Tesco's tax avoidance

Tesco issued a libel writ against the Guardian five weeks later. Tesco denied that it had avoided
paying £1 billion corporation tax, but refused to answer further questions, or to clarify the
purpose of the complex artificial tax structure they had created. Further investigations by the
Guardian discovered that the tax structures were aimed at avoiding Stamp Duty Land Tax, and
not corporation tax as originally thought. SDLT is leveled at 4%, and corporate tax at around
30%, so the figure of £1 billion tax avoided by Tesco has been revised to an estimated £90-£100
million.[33] According to the Guardian "Tesco has been involved in a game of cat and mouse with
HM Revenue & Customs since 2003. On three occasions when the government has closed a
loophole to prevent avoidance, Tesco has taken advantage of ingenious schemes to get around it.
Tesco still has 36 stores wrapped up in UK limited partnerships - with Cayman Islands registered
partners - which were established in 2006 before the latest loophole was closed."[33]

In June 2008 the government announced that was closing another tax loophole being used by
Tesco.[34] The scheme, identified by British magazine Private Eye, utilises offshore holding
companies in Luxembourg and partnership agremeents to avoid a corporation tax liability of up
to £50 million a year.[34] Another scheme previously identified by Private Eye involved
depositing £1 billion in a Swiss partnership, and then loaning out that money to overseas Tesco
stores, so that profit can be transferred indirectly through interest payments. This scheme is still
in operation and is estimated to be costing the UK exchequer up to £20 million a year in
corporation tax.[34] Tax expert Richard Murphy has provided an analysis of this avoidance

[edit] Corporate social responsibility
Tesco has made a commitment to Corporate social responsibility, in the form of contributions of
1.87% in 2006 of its pre-tax profits to charities/local community organisations.[36] This compares
favourably with Marks & Spencer's 1.51% but not well with Sainsbury's 7.02%. Will Hutton, in
his role as chief executive of The Work Foundation recently praised Tesco for leading the debate
on corporate responsibility.[37] However Intelligent Giving has criticised the company for
directing all "staff giving" support to the company's Charity of the Year.[38]

In 1992 Tesco started a "computers for schools scheme", offering computers in return for schools
and hospitals getting vouchers from people who shopped at Tesco. Until 2004, £92m of
equipment went to these organisations. The scheme has been also implemented in Poland."BITC
- Tesco Computers for Schools". Retrieved on 2006-01-19.

[edit] UK operations
[edit] Stores

Tesco's UK stores are divided into five formats, differentiated by size and the range of products
sold. these are shown below

Tesco Extra, Southport, England

      Tesco Extra are larger, mainly out-of-town hypermarkets (exceptions include Hexham
       Extra, Kingston upon Hull Extra, Warrington Extra, Stevenage Extra, Wigan Extra,
       Grimsby Extra, Galashiels Extra, Slough Extra, Yeovil Extra, Baldock Extra, Swindon
       Extra, Hartlepool Extra, Burnley Extra and Elgin Extra, which are in the heart of the town
       centre and Cardiff Western Avenue Extra and Cardiff Pengam Green Extra are located in
       the inner city) that stock all of Tesco's product ranges - with large car parks free for about
       3 hours.

The first Extra opened in 1997. The 100th store opened in the 2004/05 financial year
(specifically opening 29 November 2004, located on the Newport Road in Stafford,
Staffordshire). The number of these is now being increased by about 20 a year, mainly by
conversions from the second category.

The largest store in England by floor space is Tesco Extra in Pitsea, near Basildon with
floorspace of 11,600 m² (125,000 sq ft) and the largest in Scotland is the Port Glasgow store,
which opened in July 2007 with a floorspace of 10,200 m² (110,000 sq ft).[39]. The largest in
Wales is the Tesco Extra in Culverhouse Cross, Cardiff, 9,800 m² (105,000 sq ft) constructed in

Other large stores include Bar Hill Extra, Cleethorpes Extra, Newcastle upon Tyne Extra, Milton
Keynes Extra and Stockton-on-Tees Extra which are all in the 11,000 m² (120,000 sq ft) range.
Newer Tesco Extra stores are usually on two floors, with the ground floor for mainly food and
the first floor for clothing, electronics and entertainment. Most Tesco Extra stores have a café.
      Tesco superstores are standard large supermarkets, stocking groceries and a much
       smaller range of non-food goods than Extra stores. They are referred to as "superstores"
       for convenience, but this word does not appear on the shops. It is the "standard" Tesco
       format. Most are located in suburbs of cities or on the edges of large and medium-sized
       towns. The typical size is 2,900 m² (31,000 sq ft).[citation needed]

      Tesco Metro stores are sized between Tesco superstores and Tesco Express stores. They
       are mainly located in city centres, the inner city and on the high streets of small towns
       such as Rowlands Gill and Nelson. Typical size is 1,100 m² (12,000 sq ft).[citation needed]
       The first Tesco Metro was opened in Covent Garden, London in 1992.

       Tesco Metro, Manchester, England on New Years Eve 2007

       Since then all Tesco branches that have a high street format including those which
       opened before the Covent Garden branch have been subsequently rebranded from Tesco
       to Tesco Metro probably to give an identity to the Tesco high street sub brand. The Tesco
       store in Devizes was the last store to finish rebranding, in September 2006. The store had
       not been renovated for over 20 years.

      Tesco Express stores are neighbourhood convenience shops, stocking mainly food with
       an emphasis on higher-margin products (due to lack of economies of scale) alongside
       everyday essentials. They are found in busy city centre districts, small shopping precincts
       in residential areas, small towns and on Esso petrol station forecourts. There were 827
       stores at 23 February 2008 year end, with a typical size of 190 m² (2,100 sq ft).[citation

      One Stop are the only category which does not include the word Tesco in its name.
       These are the very smallest stores. They were part of the T&S Stores business but, unlike
       many which have been converted to Tesco Express, these will keep their old name.
       However, some have Tesco Personal Finance branded cash machines. There are more
       than 500 of them. One Stop Stores also work on a different pricing and offers system to
       the other Tesco stores, and generally have later opening hours than all except the 24-hour
       Tesco stores. Typical size 125 m² (1,350 ft²).[citation needed]

In May 2005 Tesco announced a trial non-food only format in Manchester and Aberdeen,[41] and
the first store opened in October 2005:
       Tesco Homeplus stores offer all of Tesco's ranges except food in warehouse-style units
        in retail parks. Tesco is trying this format because only 20% of its customers have access
        to a Tesco Extra, and the company is restricted in how many of its superstores it can
        convert into Extras and how quickly it can do so. Large units for non-food retailing are
        much more readily available. It plans to open at least three more Homeplus stores in
        2006.[42] As of 2 October 2006 Homeplus remains a "trial" format and no decision has
        been taken on expansion beyond the three stores already open and two that will open
        shortly.[43] The Staines branch opened on 27 November 2006. The newest Homeplus
        branch opened in Bromborough on 26 March 2007.

This is not Tesco's first non-food only venture in the UK. Until the late 1990s/early 2000s there
were several non-food Tesco stores around the country including Scarborough and Yate.
Although not in a warehouse style format, the stores were located on high streets and shopping
centres, they did stock similar items to Homeplus stores. In both cases this was because in
another part of the shopping centre was a Tesco Superstore which stocked food items only.

As of 23 February 2008, at the end of its 2007/08 financial year, Tesco's UK store portfolio was
as follows.

                             Total      Total       Mean      Mean Percentage +/- Stores
    Format        Number
                           area (m²) area (sq ft) area (m²) area (sq ft) of space  2007/8
Tesco Extra       175      1,126,264 12,123,000 6,436       69,274      40.87%    ▲ 28
Tesco             424      1,198,728 12,903,000 2,827         30,432      43.49%       ▼9
Tesco Metro       160      174,844    1,882,000 1,093         11,763      6.34%        ▼2
Tesco Express     827      166,575    1,793,000 201           2,168       6.04%        ▲ 92
One Stop          513      64,660     696,000      126        1,357       2.35%        ▲7
Tesco Homeplus 7           24,991     269,000      3,251      35,000      0.91%        ▲2
Total             2,106    2,756,062 29,667,000 1,309         14,087      100%         ▲ 118

[edit] Distribution

In common with most other large retailers, Tesco draws goods from suppliers into regional
distribution centres, for preparation and onward delivery to stores. Tesco is extending this
logistic practice to cover collection from suppliers (factory gate pricing) and the input to
suppliers, in a drive to reduce costs and improve reliability.[44] RFID technology is taking an
increasing role in the distribution process.[45]

[edit] Road

In 2007 Tesco was facing national disruption to its distribution network after a dispute with
drivers at its distribution depot in Livingston, Scotland.[46] In response to fears over increasing
road congestion, fuel prices, and concern over its carbon footprint, Tesco is switching some of its
supply chain to alternative modes, detailed below.
[edit] Rail

Tesco has been transporting goods by rail since 2006 using its distribution partner the Eddie
Stobart Group.[47] Volumes are set to increase in 2007 with new routes.[48]

[edit] Canal

In October 2007 Tesco started using the Manchester Ship Canal to transport wine from Liverpool
to a Manchester distribution facility. Combined with sea transport from the south coast where the
wine was previously offloaded, this new mode replaces road journeys from the south coast to

[edit] Other Businesses

[edit] Garden Centres

Tesco announced its intention to purchase Dobbies Garden Centres for £155.6 million on 8 June
2007. Dobbies operates 21 garden centres, mainly in Scotland.[50] The deal was confirmed as
successful by the board of directors of Tesco on 17 August 2007 when the board announced that
they had received 53.1% of shares (or 5,410,457 shares) which confirmed conditions set out in
the offer made on 20 June 2007. Although the deal had been confirmed by Tesco the offer
remained open to Dobbies shareholders until 20 August 2007.[51]

Tesco acquired Dobbies Garden Centres in September.[52]

[edit] Personal Finance

       Main article: Tesco Personal Finance

Tesco has a banking arm called Tesco Personal Finance, a 50:50 joint venture with the Royal
Bank of Scotland. Products on offer include credit cards, loans, mortgages, savings accounts and
several types of insurance, including car, home, life and travel. They are promoted by leaflets in
Tesco's stores and through its website. The business made a profit of £130 million for the 52
weeks to 24 February 2007, of which Tesco's share was £66 million.

This move towards the financial sector has diversified the Tesco brand and provides
opportunities for growth outside of the retailing sector.

Tesco personal finance offers loans, car loans, instant access saving accounts, business credit
card, bonus credit card (the credit card that pays you interest back), Clubcard credit card (where
you can earn 1 point for every £4.00 spent on it) and mortgages. Tesco also offer insurance
including travel insurance, pet insurance, car insurance, life insurance, home insurance and car
breakdown cover in association with Green Flag. A key marketing strategy is Tesco offering
Clubcard points or free petrol when you buy Tesco Car Insurance.
The company is currently trialling a finance centre in the Glasgow Silverburn Extra store
providing free financial advice and quotes for insurance and loans, this service is staffed by
trained Royal Bank of Scotland staff. The centre also has a Euro cash machine providing
commission free Euros and a Bureau de Change run by Travelex. If successful this trial will roll
out to a number of other key and flagship stores.

[edit] Telecoms

Tesco operates ISP, mobile phone, home phone and VoIP businesses. These are available to UK
residential consumers and marketed via the Tesco website and through Tesco stores.

Though it launched its ISP service in 1998, the firm did not get serious about telecoms until
2003. It has not purchased or built a telecoms network, but instead has pursued a strategy of
pairing its marketing strength with the expertise of existing telcoms. In autumn 2003 Tesco
Mobile was launched as a joint venture with O2, and Tesco Home Phone created in partnership
with Cable & Wireless. In August 2004 Tesco broadband, an ADSL-based service delivered via
BT phone lines, was launched in partnership with NTL. In January 2006, Tesco Internet Phone, a
Voice over Internet Protocol, VoIP, service was launched in conjunction with Freshtel of

Tesco announced in December 2004 that it has signed up 500,000 customers to its mobile service
in the 12 months since launch. In December 2005, it announced it had one million customers
using its mobile service. In April 2006 it announced that it had over one and a half million
telecom accounts in total, including mobile, fixed line and broadband accounts. [4]PDF (374 KiB)

On 19 December 2006 Tesco Ireland announced that it would enter into a joint venture with O2
Ireland to offer mobile telecommunications services.[54] The service, which will be Ireland's first
MVNO, will use the O2 network but operate separately. It will be allocated the STD code 089.
As with Tesco's similar service in the UK, it will be branded Tesco Mobile.[54] The network is
due to start operating in Ireland on October 29, 2007.

[edit] Fuel
Tesco supermarket petrol pump at night
       See also: 2007 UK petrol contamination

Tesco first started selling petrol in 1974. Tesco sells 95, 97 and 99 RON (a fuel developed by
Greenergy of which Tesco is a shareholder) petrol on a retail basis from forecourts at most
superstore and Express locations. Tesco have recently diversified into biofuels, offering petrol-
bioethanol and diesel-biodiesel blends instead of pure petrol and diesel at their petrol stations,
and now offering Greenergy 100% biodiesel at many stores in the southeast of the United

Tesco's own 99 Octane branded petrol as supplied by Greenergy has been the control fuel used
by all the cars in the British Rally Championship since 2006. This partnership will continue in

On 28 February 2007 motorists in South East England reported that their cars were breaking
down. This was due to petrol sold by Tesco and others being contaminated with silicon,[55] the
fuel coming from the Vopak terminal in the Thames Estuary, where fuel is supplied by Harvest
Energy and Greenergy.[56][57] Then on 2 March 2007 Tesco announced that they were emptying
and refilling tanks at 150 petrol stations but were not suspending sales.[58]

Tesco has been criticised with claims that they had been alerted to the problem as early as 12
February 2007. Affected motorists are facing bills of several hundred pounds to repair their cars
and, with up to 10,000 cars needing repair, the suppliers could be liable for compensation claims
of up to £10 million.[59] However, on 6 March, Tesco offered to pay for any damage caused by
the faulty petrol, after printing full page apologies in many national newspapers.[60]

[edit] Tesco Clubcard

       Main article: Tesco Clubcard

Of the major supermarkets in the UK, only Tesco and Sainsbury's offer a loyalty card-scheme to
customers. Tesco's Clubcard scheme has been operating since 1995 and has now become the
largest loyalty card in the UK, with around 13 million active Clubcard holders.[citation needed]

Customers can collect one Clubcard point for every £1 (or €1 in Ireland) they spend in a Tesco
store, Tesco Petrol or Customers can also collect points by paying with a Tesco
Credit Card, or by using Tesco Mobile, Tesco Homephone, Tesco Broadband, selected Tesco
Personal Finance products or through Clubcard partners, Powergen and Avis. Each point equates
to 1p in store when redeemed or 4p when used with clubcard deals (offers for holidays, day trips,
etc). Clubcard points can also be converted to Airmiles. Clubcard points are also converted into
coupons which can be redeemed extra points or cash totals

Holders receive quarterly Clubcard statements offering discount coupons which can be spent in-
store, online or on various Clubcard deals.
Tesco was cited in a Wall Street Journal article[61] as using the intelligence from the Clubcard to
thwart Wal-Mart's initiatives in the UK.

[edit] Internet operations
       Main article:

Tesco operates the world's largest grocery homeshopping service[citation needed], as well as
providing consumer goods, telecommunications and financial services online.

Tesco has operated on the internet since 1994 and was the first retailer in the world to offer a
robust home shopping service in 1996. was formally launched in 2000. It also has
online operations in the Republic of Ireland and South Korea. Grocery sales are available within
delivery range of selected stores, goods being hand-picked within each store, in contrast to the
warehouse model followed by Ocado. This model, which is now used by Sainsbury's, allows
rapid expansion with limited investment, but has been criticised for a high level of
substitutions[citation needed]. Nevertheless, it has been popular and is the largest online grocery
service in the world[citation needed]. In 2003,'s CEO at the time, John Browett, received
the Wharton Infosys Business Transformation Award for the innovative processes he used to
support this online grocery service.

On 1 October 2006, Tesco announced that it will be selling six own-brand budget software
packages for under £20 each, including office and security suites, in a partnership with software
firm Formjet.[62] As Formjet is exclusive distributor for Panda Software and Ability Plus
Software, packages from these companies are likely to feature.

[edit] High-tech services

Tesco offers broadband services.

The company also has a digital photo shop that offers products such as, mugs, shirts, celebration
cakes and table mats. The service is powered by Pixology.

Tesco offer an internet-based DVD rental service, which is operated by LOVEFiLM . Music
downloads are also available.

[edit] International operations
Countries in which Tesco operates.

Tesco's international expansion strategy has responded to the need to be sensitive to local
expectations in other countries by entering into joint ventures with local partners, such as
Samsung Group in South Korea (Samsung-Tesco Home plus), and Charoen Pokphand in
Thailand (Tesco Lotus), appointing a very high proportion of local personnel to management
positions. It also makes small acquisitions as part of its strategy for example, in its 2005/2006
financial year it made acquisitions in South Korea, one in Poland and one in Japan.[63]

In late 2004 the amount of floorspace Tesco operated outside the United Kingdom surpassed the
amount it had in its home market for the first time, although the United Kingdom still accounted
for more than 75% of group revenue due to lower sales per unit area outside the UK. Tesco
regularly makes small acquisitions to expand its international businesses.

In September 2005 Tesco announced that it was selling its operations in Taiwan to Carrefour and
purchasing Carrefour's stores in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Both companies stated that
they were concentrating their efforts in countries where they had strong market positions.

[edit] China

Tesco entered China by acquiring a 50% stake in the Hymall chain from Ting Hsin of Taiwan in
September 2004. In December 2006 it raised its stake to 90% in a £180 million deal.[64] Most of
Tesco China's stores are based around Shanghai, but according to Tesco it plans to equip the
business to expand more quickly and in different areas. Tesco has been increasing its own brand
products into the Chinese market as well as introducing the Tesco Express format.[65]

[edit] Czech Republic

A Tesco store in Hradec Králové, Czech Republic

Tesco opened its first store in the Czech Republic in 1996 and now has over 84 stores, with
further planned.[66] Tesco opened its first stores in the Czech Republic by buying US corporation
Kmart's operations in the country and converting them into Tesco stores. Tesco is also keen to
expand non-food items and has already opened petrol stations and offers personal finance
services in the Czech Republic.[67]

[edit] France
Tesco used to have one store in France, located in Calais and mainly serving British tourist
shoppers, but has recently closed.

[edit] Hungary

Tesco launched in Hungary in 1994 after purchasing KMart's operations in the area. It also
opened its first hypermarket in Hungary in the same year. Tesco operates through 101 stores in
Hungary with further openings planned.[68] Tesco offers its value, standard, healthy living and
finest range in its stores. Tesco Hungary also offers a clothing line and personal finance

[edit] Ireland

Tesco operated in what was then a fiercely competitive Irish grocery market in the early eighties.
The going was too tough for Tesco and they withdrew from the market on Monday 26 May 1986
nursing considerable losses.[ Irish Times-(1) 26 Feb 1986 page1. "Tesco denies pull-out rumors"
(2)15 March 1986 page 1."Tesco to Pull out of Ireland" (3) 26 May 1986 page 14 "State
approves Tesco takeover"]

Tesco re-entered the Irish market in 1997 after the purchase of Power Supermarkets Ltd. It now
operates from 101 stores across Ireland. It, like Tesco UK offers a home delivery shopping
service available to 80% of the Irish population as well as petrol, mobile telephone, personal
finance, flower delivery service and a weight-loss programme.[70] Also available is Tesco's
loyalty programme, the Clubcard.

Tesco is now the grocery market leader in the Republic of Ireland, with a reported November
2005 share of 26.3%.[71] Tesco Ireland also claims to be the largest purchaser of Irish food with
an estimated €1.5 billion annually.[72]

[edit] Japan

Tesco Japan first began operations in 2003. It was brought about by a buy-out of C Two stores
for £139 million in July 2003 and later Fre'c in April 2004.[73] Tesco has adopted an approach
which focuses on small corner shops operating similarly to its Express format rather than
opening hypermarkets. It has also launched its range of software in Japan.[74]

[edit] Malaysia

A Tesco outlet in Bandar Bukit Tinggi, Klang, Malaysia.
Tesco opened its first store in Malaysia in May 2002. Tesco partnered with local conglomerate
Sime Darby Berhad which holds 30% of the shares.[75] Tesco also acquired Makro, a local
wholesaler which was rebranded Tesco Extra and provides products for local retailers. Tesco
Malaysia offers a value range, own branded range, electronic goods, the loyalty clubcard and

[edit] Poland

A Tesco Hypermarket in Prokocim, Poland

Tesco entered the Polish market in 1995. It currently operates from 280 stores and has plans to
open even more.[76] Tesco Poland offers the value, healthy living and own branded line of
products as well as regional produce, petrol, personal finance services and on-line photo
processing. Tesco Poland is keen to promote its green credentials.[77]

[edit] Slovakia

Tesco Slovakia opened in 1996 as part of Tesco's international expansion aims. It now operates
from 48 stores and has plans to introduce Tesco Express like local stores.[78] Tesco Slovakia has
recently put great emphasis on organic products. However, Tesco Slovakia caused controversy
amongst the Slovak government when it was found to have come foul of food safety laws in

[edit] South Korea

Tesco launched its South Korean operations in 1999 and partnered with Samsung, Tesco holds
81% of the shares in the venture.[80] It operates both hypermarkets and its express format as well
as a home delivery shopping service. It is the largest foreign food retailer in South Korea,
although significantly behind its local rivals such as Lotte, and Shinsegae Group.[81]

On 14 May 2008, Tesco agreed to purchase 36 hypermarkets with a combination of food and
non-food products from E-Land for $1.9 billion (976 million pounds) in its biggest single
acquisition, making Tesco the second largeest in the country. The majority of the E-Land stores
formerly belonged to French retailer Carrefour before 2006 and most of the stores will be
converted to Tesco Homeplus outlets. Tesco's South Korean discount store chain, Home Plus,
currently has 66 outlets[82][83].

[edit] Thailand
A Tesco Lotus store in Nakhon Sakon, Thailand
      Main article: Tesco Lotus

Tesco entered Thailand in 1998 and operates through 380 stores as part of a joint venture with
Charoen Pokphand and named the operation Tesco Lotus. This partnership was dissolved in
2003 when Charoen Pokphand sold its shares to Tesco. Tesco Lotus sells a diverse range of
products from value food products to electronics to personal finance services. The company is
keen to promote its green values and has partnered with the UNEP. Tesco Lotus claims to serve
20 million customers every month and that 97% of its goods are sourced from Thailand.[84]

[edit] Turkey

Tesco entered Turkey in 2003 and uses the trading name "Kipa". Tesco remains focused on
building infrastructure in Turkey to complete its expansion plans and has already introduced the
Tesco Express format into Turkey. There are plans to increase the rate of expansion as basic
infrastructure is built.[85]

[edit] United States

A Fresh & Easy store in Summerlin, Nevada, United States
       Main article: Fresh & Easy

In February 2006, Tesco announced its intention to move into the United States market, opening
a chain of convenience stores on the West Coast (Arizona, California and Nevada) in 2007
named Fresh & Easy.[86] The company established its U.S. headquarters in El Segundo,
California at 2120 Park Place. The first store opened in November 2007 with 100 more expected
in the first year. They plan to open a new one every two-and-a-half days in America, to mimic
the successful expansion of pharmacy chains such as Walgreens in the U.S.
The first Tesco Fresh & Easy Neighbourhood Markets opened in Hemet (Riverside County),
Anaheim (Orange County), Arcadia (Los Angeles County), West Covina (Los Angeles County)
and Upland (San Bernardino County), California in 2007.

Fresh & Easy operates 62 stores in the U.S. at the moment (July 13th, 2008).

[edit] Non-UK store summary

The following table shows the number of stores, total store size in area and sales for Tesco's
international operations. The store numbers and floor area figures are as at 23 February 2008 but
the turnover figures are for the year ended 31 December 2005, except for the Republic of Ireland
data, which is at 24 February 2007, like the UK figures. This information is taken from the 2007
final broker packPDF (94.2 KiB).

                                                     Area        Area (sq         Turnover (£
        Country            Entered     Stores
                                                    (m²)          ft)             million)
   People's Republic of
                           2004        56         465,258      5,008,000       552
China Note1
   Czech Republic          1996        108        430,420      4,633,000       807
   France Note2            1992        1          1,400        16,000
   Hungary                 1994        125        513,196      5,524,000       1,180
   Republic of Ireland     1997        104        232,351      2,501,000       1,683
   Japan                   2003        144        39,577       426,000         287
   Malaysia Note3          2002        26         213,212      2,295,000       247
   Poland                  1995        334        698,910      7,523,000       1,135
   Slovakia                1996        65         270,441      2,911,000       498
   South Korea             1999        142        556,118      5,986,000       2,557
   Thailand                1998        532        847,462      9,122,000       1,326
   Turkey Note4            2003        79         180,789      1,946,000       256
   United States           2007        60                      60,000 (est.)
Total                                  1,776      4,467,422    43,408,258      10,528 (exc USA)

[edit] Former markets
[edit] Taiwan

       In September 2005, Carrefour sold to Tesco 11 stores in the Czech Republic and four in
        Slovakia. Tesco paid €57.4 million as well as its stores in Taiwan.

[edit] France
      Although Tesco currently owns one store in France, it previously owned a French chain
       called Catteau between 1992 and 1997.

[edit] Financial performance
Tesco is listed on the London Stock Exchange under the symbol TSCO. It also has a secondary
listing on the Irish Stock Exchange with the name TESCO PLC.

All figures below are for the Tesco's financial years, which run for 52 or 53 week periods to late
February. Up to the 27 February 2007 period end the numbers include non-UK and Ireland
results for the year ended on 31 December 2006 in the accounting year. The figures in the table
below include 52 weeks/12 months of turnover for both sides of the business as this provides the
best comparative. Including 60 weeks of non-UK and Ireland sales the figures to 24 February
2007 were: revenue £46,600 million; profit before tax £2,653 million; profit for year £2,478
million; basic earnings per share 22.36 pence.[87]

Group revenue for the 26 weeks to 26 August 2006 was £20,735 million, compared to £17,170
million in the 24 week interin period reported in 2005. On a comparable 26 week basis group
sales increased by 12.7% and group profit increased by 10.3%.[88]

  52/3 weeks       Turnover       Profit before tax    Profit for year     Basic earnings per
     ended           (£m)               (£m)                (£m)               share (p)
24 February
                 46,600          2,653                1,899              22.36
25 February
                 38,300          2,210                1,576              19.70
26 February
                 33,974          1,962                1,366              17.44
28 February
                 30,814          1,600                1,100              15.05
22 February
                 26,337          1,361                946                13.54
23 February
                 23,653          1,201                830                12.05
24 February
                 20,988          1,054                767                11.29
26 February
                 18,796          933                  674                10.07
27 February
                 17,158          842                  606                9.14
28 February
                 16,452          760                  532                8.12
As of its 2006 year end Tesco was the fourth largest retailer in the world behind Wal-Mart,
Carrefour and Home Depot. Tesco moved ahead of Home Depot during 2007, following the sale
of Home Depot's professional supply division and a decline in the value of the U.S. dollar
against the British Pound. METRO was only just behind and might move ahead again if the euro
strengthens against the pound, but METRO's sales include many billions of wholesale turnover,
and its retail turnover is much less than Tesco's.

At 24 February 2007 Tesco operated 1,988 stores in the UK (2.581 million m², 27.7 million
square feet) and 1,275 outside the UK (3.75 million m², 40.4 million square feet).

The company has a total market value of about £36,761.71m (April 2007).[89] Tesco is the largest
private sector employer in the UK and second to the NHS overall.[90]

[edit] UK market share

Graph Showing Market Share of Tesco

According to TNS Worldpanel, Tesco's share of the UK grocery market in the 12 weeks to 20
May 2007 was 31.32%, down 0.03% on 12 weeks to 22 April 2007. Across all categories, over
£1 in every £7 (14.3%) of UK retail sales is spent at Tesco. Tesco also operates overseas, and
non-UK revenue for the year to 24 February 2007 was up 18% on 25 February 2006

                 Consumer Market Share
Supermarket                                  Change
               Spend (£000s) 20th April 2008
Tesco          6,336,887     31.1%           ▼ 0.3%
Asda           3,444,410      16.9%             ▲ 0.1%
Sainsbury's    3,265,244      16.0%             ▼ 0.4%
Morrison's     2,317,304      11.4%             ▲ 0.3%

[edit] Tesco litigation
As with any large corporation, Tesco is involved in litigation, usually from claims of personal
injury from customers, claims of unfair dismissal from staff, and other commercial matters. Two
notable cases were Ward v Tesco Stores Ltd, which set a precedent in so called 'trip and slip'
injury claims against retailers; and Tesco Supermarkets Ltd v Nattrass, which reached the House
of Lords, and became a leading case regarding the coporate liability of businesses for failures of
their store managers (in a case of misleading advertising).
[edit] Criticism
       Main article: Criticism of Tesco

In Thailand, Tesco has been criticised for aggressively pursuing critics of the company. Writer
and former MP Jit Siratranont is facing up to two years in jail and a £16.4m libel damages claim
for saying that Tesco was expanding aggressively at the expense of small local retailers. Tesco
served him with writs for criminal defamation and civil libel.[91]

Criticism of Tesco includes allegations of stifling competition due to its undeveloped "land
bank",[92] pugilistically aggressive new store development without real consideration of the
wishes, needs and consequences to local communities,[93] using cheap and/or child labour,[94][95]
opposition to its move into the convenience sector[96] and breaching planning laws.[97]

A recent criticism from 2007 occurred when Tesco failed to deliver groceries via online
shopping to a university campus in Sussex, offering no refund or apology. This sparked a local
backlash from many customers who had similar dissatisfying experiences with Tesco's online
delivery service.[98]

Despite practising a 'One in front' policy, in December 2006 The Grocer magazine published a
study which named Tesco as having the slowest checkouts of the six major supermarkets.
Somerfield had the shortest queues with an average wait of 4 min 23 seconds. In order of least
time spent at the checkout, the other major supermarkets were Waitrose, Sainsbury's, Asda,
Morrisons and Tesco.[99]

The Grocer also named ASDA as the cheapest UK supermarket (based on 33 items). Tesco was
second and Sainsbury's and Morrisons joint third.[99] Tesco price check tends to differ saying out
of 7134 (compared to ASDA) products, (Survey carried out between 09 July 2007 and 11 July
2007) Tesco is cheaper:1835 (compared to 1251 the previous week), Tesco is more
expensive:975 (compared to 984 the previous week) and Tesco is the same price: 4324
(compared to 4996 the previous week).[100]

Tesco received criticism for bureaucratic and inflexible parking systems in its Bloomfield store
in Dublin, Ireland. [101]

[edit] Further reading
   1. Simms, Andrew (2007). Tescopoly: how one shop came out on top and why it matters.
      London: Constable. ISBN 1845295110.
   2. Humby, Clive; Hunt, Terry & Phillips, Tim (2006). Scoring points : how Tesco continues
      to win customer loyalty. London & Philadelphia: Kogan Page. ISBN 9780749447526.
   3. Nash, Bethany (2006). Fair-Trade and the growth of ethical consumerism within the
      mainstream : an investigation into the Tesco consumer. Leeds: University of Leeds.
      ISBN 75272130.
[edit] See also
      Supermarkets in the United Kingdom
      TNS Worldpanel
      Tescopoly

[edit] Notes
  1. ^ The business in China was a joint venture at February 2006 (now a 90% owned
     subsidiary; see above) and its turnover is not reported in Tesco's 2006 brokers' pack.
  2. ^ Tesco owned a French chain called Catteau between 1992 and 1997. Its existing single
     store in France is a wine warehouse in Calais, which opened in 1995 and is targeted at
     British day trippers. Wine is much cheaper in France than in the UK because the duty is
     far lower. Turnover is not reported separately.
  3. ^ Tesco Stores (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd was incepted on 29 November 2001, as a strategic
     alliance with local conglomerate, Sime Darby Bhd of which the latter holds 30% of total
     shares. On 31 January 2007, Tesco Stores (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd's CEO Chris Bush
     announced in a letter published on Makro Cash & Carry (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd's website
     that it was purchasing Makro and converting and refurbishing all its stores to a new
     format called Tesco 'Extra'. [5] It is not known whether the format will be similar to
     Tesco UK's format.
  4. ^ Tesco Stores in Turkey are known as Kipa.

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[edit] External links

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