Thursday, 5 February 2009

Tesco takeover?

This photo is of a Tesco distribution centre in England, but I guess that, like the stores, they look pretty much the same wherever Tesco is expanding around the world, including the US and Eastern Europe. In Asia Tesco is growing in many countries including South Korea, Vietnam and Thailand, and joining forces with Tata in India to rival retail giant Wal-Mart in scale.

Tesco has about 30 per cent share of grocery market in the UK. Back in 2005, my home town of Huddersfield was noted by The Grocer Magazine as one of the towns in the UK where the big 4 supermarkets – Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury and Morrisons have the highest market share, with 89 per cent of the grocery retail business, leaving small pickings for independent retailers. Huddersfield was then categorised as a ‘clone town’ by the New Economics Foundation for its lack of retail diversity in everything from groceries to fashion and electronic products.

Now Tesco want to build more stores in and around Huddersfield and a new organisation, Town First is opposing the development. Holmfirth Against Tesco is a growing group of residents and businesses campaigning against a store there. Tesco have planning applications at various stages in many other Yorkshire towns like Ilkley and Harrogate. Tescopoly is the UK umbrella organisation for all the local opposition groups and for groups concerned about supermarket power.

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