|Type||Public limited company|
|Traded as||LSE: TSCO ISEQ: TCO|
|Founded||1919Hackney, London, England-|
|Number of locations||6,784 stores (As of March 2014) (see table below)|
|Products||Cash & Carry/warehouse club, convenience/forecourt store, department store, discount department store, discount store, hypermarket/supercenter/superstore, other speciality, supermarket|
|Revenue||£70.894 billion (2013/14)|
|Operating income||£3.054 billion (2013/14)|
|Net income||£124.0 million (2013)|
|Total assets||£50.129 billion (2013)|
|Total equity||£16.661 billion (2013)|
|Subsidiaries||Tesco Stores Ltd., Tesco Bank, Tesco Mobile|
Tesco PLC is a multinational grocery and general merchandise retailer headquartered in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, England, United Kingdom. It is the third largest retailer in the world measured by profits and second-largest retailer in the world measured by revenues. It has stores in 12 countries across Asia, Europe and North America and is the grocery market leader in the UK (where it has a market share of around 30%), the Republic of Ireland, Malaysia, and Thailand.
Tesco was founded in 1919 by Jack Cohen as a group of market stalls. The Tesco name first appeared in 1924, after Cohen purchased a shipment of tea from T. E. Stockwell and combined those initials with the first two letters of his surname, and the first Tesco store opened in 1929 in Burnt Oak, Middlesex. His business expanded rapidly, and by 1939 he had over 100 Tesco stores across the country. Originally a UK-focused grocery retailer, since the early 1990s Tesco has increasingly diversified geographically and into areas such as the retailing of books, clothing, electronics, furniture, toys, petrol and software; financial services; telecoms and internet services; DVD rental; and music downloads. The 1990s saw Tesco reposition itself, from its perception as a downmarket "pile 'em high, sell 'em cheap" retailer, to one which appeals across a wide social group, from its Tesco Value (launched 1993) to its Tesco Finest ranges. This was successful, and saw the chain grow from 500 stores in the mid-1990s to 2,500 stores fifteen years later.
Tesco is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. It had a market capitalisation of approximately £20.5 billion as of 4 August 2014, the 28th-largest of any company with a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange.
- 1 History
- 2 UK operations brands
- 3 Non Supermarket operations
- 3.1 Dobbies Garden Centres
- 3.2 Harris and Hoole
- 3.3 Giraffe Restaurants
- 3.4 Internet retailing
- 3.5 Financial services
- 3.6 Petrol stations
- 3.7 Telecoms
- 3.8 Photo processing
- 3.9 Tesco Tech Support
- 3.10 Technika
- 3.11 Film making
- 3.12 Record label
- 3.13 Video-on-demand
- 3.14 Gold Exchange
- 3.15 Tesco Tyres
- 3.16 Your Beauty Salon
- 4 International operations
- 5 Tesco Clubcard
- 6 Corporate affairs
- 7 Market share
- 8 Advertising
- 9 Corporate social responsibility
- 10 Litigation
- 11 Criticism
- 12 Alumni
- 13 See also
- 14 References
- 15 Further reading
- 16 External links
|This section is incomplete. (October 2014)|
1919 to 2000
Jack Cohen, the son of Jewish emigrants from Poland, founded Tesco in 1919 when he began to sell surplus groceries from a stall at Well Street Market, Hackney, 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 Thomas Edward 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. The first Tesco store was opened in 1929 in Burnt Oak, Edgware, Middlesex. Tesco was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1947 as Tesco Stores (Holdings) Limited. The first self-service store opened in St Albans in 1956 (which remained operational until 2010 before relocating to a larger premises on the same street, with a period as a Tesco Metro), and the first supermarket in Maldon in 1956. In 1961 Tesco Leicester made an appearance in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest store in Europe.
During the 1950s and the 1960s Tesco grew organically, and also through acquisitions, until it owned more than 800 stores. The company purchased 70 Williamson's stores (1957), 200 Harrow Stores outlets (1959), 212 Irwins stores (1960, beating Express Dairies' Premier Supermarkets to the deal), 97 Charles Phillips stores (1964) and the Victor Value chain (1968) (sold to Bejam in 1986).
Originally specialising in food and drink, it has diversified into areas such as clothing, electronics, financial services, telecoms, retailing and renting DVDs, CDs, music downloads, Internet services and software.
Jack Cohen's business motto was "pile it high and sell it cheap", to which he added an internal motto of "YCDBSOYA" (You Can't Do Business Sitting On Your Arse) which he used to motivate his sales force.
In 1994, the company took over the supermarket chain William Low, successfully fighting 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", because well over 50p in every £1 spent on food is believed to be spent in its three Tesco stores.
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 profitable. In 1996 the typeface of the logo was changed to the current version with stripe reflections underneath, whilst the corporate font used for store signage was changed from the familiar "typewriter" font that had been used since the 1970s. The same year saw the introduction of overseas operations. Terry Leahy assumed the role of Chief Executive on 21 February 1997, the appointment having been announced on 21 November 1995.
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 Ireland and Northern Ireland, plus associated businesses, for £640 million. The deal was approved by the European Commission on 6 May 1997. This acquisition gave it both a major presence in (and marked a return to) the Republic of Ireland and a larger presence in Northern Ireland than Sainsbury's, which had begun its move into Northern Ireland in 1995.
In 1997, Tesco and Esso (part of Exxonmobil) formed a business alliance that included several petrol filling stations on lease from Esso, with Tesco operating the attached stores under their Express format. In turn, Esso operates the forecourts and sells their fuel via the Tesco store. 200 Tesco/Esso sites now exist across the UK.
2000 to 2010
The company was the subject of a letter bomb campaign lasting five months from August 2000 to February 2001 as a bomber calling himself "Sally" sent letter bombs to Tesco customers and demanded Clubcards modified to withdraw money from cash machines.
In July 2001 Tesco became involved in internet grocery retailing in the USA when it obtained a 35% stake in GroceryWorks. In 2002 Tesco purchased 13 HIT hypermarkets in Poland. 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.
In October 2003 the company 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. It also acquired a majority stake in Turkish supermarket chain Kipa. In January 2004 Tesco acquired Adminstore, owner of 45 Cullens, Europa, and Harts convenience stores, in and around London. 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 2003. In late 2005 Tesco acquired the 21 remaining Safeway/BP stores after Morrisons dissolved the Safeway/BP partnership. In mid-2006 Tesco purchased an 80% stake in Casino's Leader Price supermarkets in Poland. They will be rebranded into small Tesco stores. In 2003, Tesco took part in a joint venture with O2 to form the Tesco Mobile mobile virtual network operator.
On 9 February 2006, Tesco announced that it planned to move into the United States by opening a chain of small format grocery stores in the Western states (Arizona, California and Nevada) in 2007 named Fresh & Easy. It had plans for rapid growth – after a pause in the second quarter of 2008, the opening program recommenced and over 200 stores were opened in Arizona, California, and Nevada by December 2012.
In 2007, Tesco was placed under investigation by the UK 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 £116 million.
In 2009 the Tesco Bank was launched.
2010 to present
In 2011, Tesco launched a range of Tesco Venture Brands
Although profits were £1.9 billion for the first half of 2011, sales growth in the UK was the lowest in 20 years, partly due to shoppers switching to budget rivals.
In April 2012, Tesco re-launched its own brand value range as 'Tesco Everyday Value', with new packaging and recipes.
Tesco confirmed in April 2013 that it was pulling out of the US market (Fresh & Easy Stores), at a reported cost of £1.2 billion. In September 2013, Tesco announced they were transferring ownership and operations of more than 150 stores to supermarket owner Ron Burkle's Yucaipa Companies group. Tesco retained the Fresh & Easy brand in the UK - applying it instead to certain convenience food products.
In 2013, during the EU-wide meat adulteration scandal, it emerged that some 'value' burgers sold by Tesco contained up to 29% horse meat. In February 2013, Tesco reported that their value bolognaise contained 60% horsemeat.
In late 2013 more than 1,200 Tesco products are available at AlphaMega supermarkets following an exclusive agreement signed with the UK chain. The Cypriot chain has more than 1,200 different items, including cake-making products, frozen foods, beverages, personal care products, animal feed and other food items.
UK operations brands
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 Everyday Value - Formerly known as 'Tesco Value' for many years, these products minimise Tesco's costs, including simple packaging to keep the retail cost as low as possible.
- Tesco Basics - The 'Value' Non food range, products formerly Everyday Value.
- 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 Home lines being stocked in Extra stores.
- Healthy Living - Formerly known as 'Tesco Light Choices'. Usually contains lower fat, sugar and salt content than standard Tesco branded foods.
- 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.
- Fresh & Easy - the name of the failed US venture is now used to brand a specific range of convenience foods and ready meals.
- World Foods - Speciality foods from around the world.
- Tesco Wholefoods - Range of natural, unprocessed products such as, dried fruit, seeds & nuts.
- 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
- Free From - Food that does not contain certain ingredients (e.g. wheat, gluten, dairy & nuts).
- Tesco Christmas - Seasonal goods that Tesco only stocks 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 label.
- Technika/Digilogic - Range of Tesco own brand electrical items (from DVD players to televisions and computers).
- Tesco Mobile - Tesco's own mobile network has 4 pay as you go tariffs; Lite tariff, Standard tariff, Pay as you go with free credit 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.
Tesco Stores Ltd. is the subsidiary of Tesco PLC in the United Kingdom. Tesco's UK operation is divided into six formats, differentiated by size and the range of products sold.
As of 16 April 2014, at the end of its 2013/14 financial year, Tesco's UK store portfolio was as follows.
area (sq ft)
area (sq ft)
Tesco Extra stores are larger, mainly out-of-town hypermarkets that stock nearly all of Tesco's product ranges, although some are in the heart of town centres and inner-city locations. The first Extra opened in 1997 in Pitsea. The number of these is now being increased by about 20 a year, mainly by conversions and rebuilds.
The largest store in England by floor space is Tesco Extra in Walkden, with 17,230 square metres (185,500 sq ft) of floorspace. The largest in Scotland is the Silverburn store. The largest in Wales is at Parc Fforestfach, Swansea, which is 10,400 square metres (112,000 sq ft) constructed in 2003. The 200th Extra store was opened in October 2010 in Bishop Auckland.
Other large stores include Bar Hill, Cleethorpes, Coventry, Newcastle upon Tyne, Milton Keynes, Stockton-on-Tees, Slough and Watford are all in the 11,000 square metres (120,000 sq ft) range. Newer stores are usually on two floors, with the ground floor mainly for food and the first floor for clothing, electronics and entertainment. Some stores that did not have the second floor have been converted to this format in recent years. Most Tesco Extra stores have a café and as of October 2009, all stores have a Tesco Tech Support Team.
Recently opened stores include Salford, Dudley, Widnes, Yardley, Birmingham, Hemel Hempstead, Crewe and Prestatyn (Parc Prestatyn) with new stores to open in West Bromwich, Gateshead and Macclesfield.
In common with other towns, such as Warrington, the recently opened St Helens store, which at 13,000 m2 (140,000 sq ft) is one of the biggest in England, was developed on the same site as the town's new rugby league stadium.
Tesco superstores are standard large supermarkets, stocking groceries and a much smaller range of non-food goods than Extra stores. The stores have always previously been branded as simply 'Tesco', but a new store in Liverpool was the first to use the format brand 'Tesco Superstore' above the door.
Tesco Metro stores are sized between Tesco superstores and Tesco Express stores, with stores averaging 1,000 square metres (11,000 sq ft). They are mainly located in city centres beside train stations, the inner city and on the high streets of towns. The first Tesco Metro opened in Neston in 1980. Since then most Tesco branches with a high street format, including those that opened before the Covent Garden branch, have been rebranded from Tesco to Tesco Metro. The Tesco store in Carlisle city centre will in 2012 be the last store to finish rebranding. The store has not been renovated for over 20 years.
Tesco Express stores are neighbourhood convenience stores averaging 200 square metres (2,200 sq ft), stocking mainly food with an emphasis on higher-margin products (due to small store size, and the necessity to maximise revenue per square foot) alongside everyday essentials. They are found in busy city centre districts, small shopping precincts in residential areas, small towns and villages and on Esso petrol station forecourts. The 1,000th Tesco Express site opened in July 2009. Tesco have now started building Tesco Express stores with only 'Assisted-Service' tills, in which the customer scans all their own shopping and packs it, with the support of supervising staff when required.
In 2010, it emerged that Tesco were operating Express pricing; i.e., charging more in their Express branches than in their regular branches. A spokesperson said that this was "because of the difference in costs of running the smaller stores".
One Stop, which includes some of the smallest stores (smaller than a Tesco Express), is the only Tesco store format in the UK that does not include the word Tesco in its name. The brand, along with the original stores, formed part of the T&S Stores business but, unlike many that were converted to Tesco Express, these kept their old name. Subsequently, other stores bought by Tesco have been converted to the One Stop brand. Some have Tesco Personal Finance branded cash machines.
The business has attracted some controversy, as grocery prices in these shops, often situated in less well-off areas, can be higher than nearby Tesco branded stores, highlighted in The Times 22 March 2010: "Britain’s biggest supermarket uses its chain of 639 One Stop convenience stores – which many customers do not realise it owns – to charge up to 14 per cent more for goods than it does in Tesco-branded stores."
Tesco responded to the article stating "It is a separate business within the Tesco Group, with its own supply chain and distribution network. One Stop stores offer a different range to Express stores and its operating costs are different. One Stop’s price strategy is to match to its nearest competitor, Costcutter, and is frequently cheaper." They can usually be found in smaller communities across the United Kingdom.
Tesco Homeplus 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 stocked similar items to Homeplus stores. In both cases this was because another part of the shopping centre had a Tesco Superstore that stocked food items only.
Stores offer all of Tesco's ranges except food in warehouse-style units in retail parks. Tesco is using 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.
There are currently 13 Homeplus stores nationwide. The newest Homeplus store opened in Chester in July 2009.
Two more were due to open in the first half of 2009 at sites around the country. All of these were to feature the Order and Collect desk where customers can purchase and collect most items straightaway.
In 2012, The Times reported that Tesco was keen to exit leases on all of its 13 Home Plus stores and has been looking at options with property advisor Morgan Williams.
Non Supermarket operations
Dobbies Garden Centres
Tesco announced its intention to purchase Dobbies Garden Centres for £155.6 million on 8 June 2007. Dobbies operates 28 garden centres, half in Scotland and half in England. 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. Tesco raised its holding to 65% in September and on 5 June 2008 Tesco announced that it would be compulsorily acquiring Dobbies Garden Centres PLC. Dobbies continues to trade under its own brand, from its own head office in Melville, near Edinburgh.
Harris and Hoole
In 2012 Tesco invested in a new coffee shop chain, named Harris and Hoole after coffee-loving characters in Samuel Pepys' diary. Tesco own up to 49% of the company, which is run by Nick, Andrew and Laura Tolley who own the majority of shares.
Giraffe was owned by its founders, with additional financial backing from private shareholders, 3i investment group and chairman Luke Johnson. 3i invested £10 million in the company in 2006, in a deal that valued the chain at £24 million. On 13 March 2013, it was announced that the chain was to be acquired by Tesco for £48.6 million. As part of the acquisition, 3i and Risk Capital Partners sold their shares in the company.
In the United Kingdom Tesco operates a homeshopping service through the Tesco.com website.
In May 1984, in Gateshead, England, the world's first recorded online home shopper, Mrs Jane Snowball, purchased groceries from her local Tesco store in the world's first recorded online shopping transaction from the home. 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. Tesco.com was formally launched in 2000. 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. Tesco offers an internet-based DVD rental service, which is operated by LOVEFiLM and a music download service.
In 2011, Tesco bought Blinkbox, an online movie streaming service in which selected DVDs which are purchased in store can be streamed online for free as well. In June 2012, the company acquired the music streaming site We7.
In the United Kingdom Tesco offers financial services through Tesco Bank, formerly 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 diversified the Tesco brand and provides opportunities for growth outside of the retailing sector.
On 28 July 2008 Tesco announced that they were buying out the Royal Bank of Scotland's 50% stake in the company for £950 million. In October 2009 the name of Tesco Personal Finance was changed to Tesco Bank. In news on 17 April 2013, it was announced in news that, for the first time for nearly twenty years, profits at Tesco had fallen as Tesco pulled out of the U.S. market.
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 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 Kingdom.
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, Tesco has been criticised with claims that they had been alerted to the problem as early as 12 February 2007. On 6 March, Tesco offered to pay for any damage caused by the faulty petrol, after printing full page apologies in many national newspapers.
Tesco operates mobile phone, home phone and broadband businesses. These are available to residential consumers in several countries and are sold via the Tesco website and through Tesco stores. Tesco has not purchased or built a telecoms network, but instead has pursued a strategy of pairing its marketing strength with the expertise of existing telecoms operators.
In late 2003, Tesco Mobile was launched as a joint venture with O2. In November 2009 Tesco announced over 2 million UK customers were using this service. A similar O2 based service has since been launched in Ireland and Slovakia.
In August 2004, Tesco broadband, an ADSL-based service delivered via BT phone lines, was launched in partnership with NTL. In November 2009 Tesco announced a new partnership with Cable & Wireless, and a fresh focus on this business area.
In January 2006, Tesco Internet Phone, a Voice over Internet Protocol, VoIP, service was launched in conjunction with Freshtel of Australia. This service was shut down in 2010.
In November 2009, Tesco announced it now has 100 Phone Shops embedded within larger Tesco Extra stores, and stated an intention to open up to 500 such shops across the UK in the medium term. In April 2010 the first Tesco Phone shop opened in Slovakia.
For many years some Tesco stores have offered photographic processing. Originally the stores had wet (i.e. chemically based) laboratory facilities, but these are being replaced by dry facilities which offer printing from digital sources, in keeping with changes in the photographic market. Many dry labs can now produce gift items such as canvases while customers shop.
Tesco Tech Support
Tesco acquired a small I.T. support company called The PC Guys in 2008, and were able to launch Tesco Tech Support in December. Teams of Advisors were put into all Extra stores with the sole job role of answering technical questions on Tesco's range of electrical products. They also are responsible for advising customers on extended warranties, electrical returns and a range of finance options. Through their Customer Service Centre located in Cardiff in the United Kingdom, Tesco Tech Support provides UK and Ireland customers with technical support via telephony system on the electrical products sold in their stores.
Technika is a brand name for electronic products sold through Tesco. The Technika range currently includes Televisions, MP3 Docking Stations, Computer Peripherals, DVD and Blu-ray Players, DAB Radios. The range is updated on a regular basis to follow market trends.
The Technika brand is managed in-house by Tesco alongside its other brands, such as Tesco and Tesco Everyday Value. Customer support is offered through the Tesco Electrical Helpline or in-store through Tesco Tech Support.
In 2010, Tesco started funding a small film studio intended to produce Tesco exclusive direct-to- films. The first film comes out on 6 September and is called Paris Connections. It is based on a popular novel by Jackie Collins, and is an investigation thriller. Jackie Collins rewrote the novel to be more appropriate to the medium of film.
In 2010, Tesco announced that they will be forming their own record label, with notable signings since including Mick Hucknall and Nadine Coyle. Tesco records will be exclusive products to Tesco stores.
In 2011, Tesco launched Tesco Gold Exchange, which is a postal gold service, offering money for gold, as well as offering clubcard points to customers via their website.
In 2011, Tesco launched tesco-tyres.com in association with Blackcircles.com, offering a choice of over 1,200 fitting partners across the UK as well as offering clubcard points with purchases.
Your Beauty Salon
In February 2011, Tesco launched Your Beauty Salon, in Tesco stores planning to open 70 over the next year, offering services like haircuts, leg waxing, manicures and eyebrow.
Tesco has expanded its operations outside the UK to 11 other countries in the world. The company pulled out of the USA in 2013, but continues to see growth else where 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.
Clubcard is a customer loyalty scheme that was introduced nationwide by Tesco in 1995. It has been cited as a pivotal development in Tesco's progress towards becoming the UK's largest supermarket chain and one that fundamentally changed the country's supermarket business. Card holding customers can collect one Clubcard point for every £1 (or one point for €1 in Ireland and Slovakia or 1 point for 1zł in Poland) they spend in a Tesco store, or at Tesco.com, and 1 point per £2 on fuel (not in Slovakia). 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, E.ON and Avis. Each point equates to 1p in store when redeemed or up to 3 times their value when used with clubcard deals (offers for holidays, day trips, etc.) Clubcard points (UK & IE) can also be converted to Avios.
Holders receive Clubcard statements 4 times a year, which often feature extra point coupons and money-off coupons. These can be spent in-store, online or on various Clubcard deals.
Tesco was cited in a Wall Street Journal article as using the intelligence from the Clubcard to thwart Wal-Mart's initiatives in the UK.
Tesco announced on 12 February 2013 the launch of their TV on demand and film on demand service. The service went live on 6 March 2013, and was provided free to Tesco customers; it closed on 28 October 2014.
According to Citigroup retail analyst David McCarthy, "[Tesco has] pulled off a trick that I'm not aware of any other retailer achieving. That is to appeal to all segments of the market". One plank of this strategy has been Tesco's use of its own-brand products, including the upmarket "Finest", mid-range Tesco brand and low-price "Value" encompassing several product categories such as food, beverage, home, clothing, Tesco Mobile and financial services.
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 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.
Tesco is listed on the London Stock Exchange under the symbol TSCO.
All figures below are for the Tesco's financial years, which run for 52 or 53 week periods to late February. Up to 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.
|52/3 weeks ended||Turnover (£m)||Profit before tax (£m)||Profit for year (£m)||Basic earnings per share (p)|
|22 February 2014||70,894||3,054||2,259||32.05|
|23 February 2013||64,826||3,549||3,453||35.97|
|25 February 2012||64,539||3,985||2,814||34.98|
|26 February 2011||67,573||3,535||2,671||33.10|
|27 February 2010||62,537||3,176||2,336||31.66|
|28 February 2009||54,300||3,128||2,166||28.92|
|23 February 2008||47,298||2,803||2,130||26.95|
|24 February 2007||46,600||2,653||1,899||22.36|
|25 February 2006||38,300||2,210||1,576||19.70|
|26 February 2005||33,974||1,962||1,366||17.44|
|28 February 2004||30,814||1,600||1,100||15.05|
|22 February 2003||26,337||1,361||946||13.54|
|23 February 2002||23,653||1,201||830||12.05|
|24 February 2001||20,988||1,054||767||11.29|
|26 February 2000||18,796||933||674||10.07|
|27 February 1999||17,158||842||606||9.14|
|28 February 1998||16,452||760||532||8.12|
Despite being in a recession, Tesco made record profits for a British retailer in the year to February 2010, during which its underlying pre-tax profits increased by 10.1% to £3.4 billion. Tesco now plans to create 16,000 new jobs, of which 9,000 will be in the UK. In 2011 the retailer reported its poorest six-monthly UK sales figures for 20 years, as a result of consumers' reduced non-food spending.
In 2014 Tesco appears to have lost some of its appeal to customers.  The share price lost 49 per cent of its value up to October as it struggled to fend off competition from rivals Aldi and Lidl. In October 2014, Tesco suspended 8 executives following its announcement the previous month that it had previously overstated its profits by £250 million. The misreporting resulted in almost £2.2 billion being wiped off the value of the company’s stock market value. The suspended executives included former commercial director Kevin Grace and UK managing director Chris Bush. The profit overstatement was subsequently revised upwards to £263 million following an investigation by the accountancy firm Deloitte and it was clarified that the inflated profit figure was the result of Tesco bringing forward rebates from suppliers. The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) confirmed on 29 October 2014 that it was carrying out a criminal investigation into the accounting irregularities but declined to give further details.
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.
|The Co-operative Food||6.9%||0.4%|
In terms of the wider UK retail market, Tesco sales account for around one pound in every ten spent in British shops. In 2007 it was reported that its share was even larger, with one pound in every seven spent going to Tesco.
Tesco have used many television adverts over the years. In July 2007 a DVD containing adverts from 1977–2007 was given to all members of staff. Early advertising stressed cheap prices and how to keep "The cost of living in check." In 1977 an advert was made where a till showed the prices to many items such as "baked beans 121/2p".
A notable 1980s advert was "Checkout 82," which was made in 1982, where a till would have a receipt coming out of it with the prices on. This advert had synthpop music as the backing and people singing "Check it out, check it out".
Adverts in the late '90s had Prunella Scales as Dotty Turnbull, arguing about Tesco prices. In 2003, adverts showed items and shopping trolleys talking about Tesco. Late 2000s adverts have included many celebrities and celebrity voice-overs such as The Spice Girls and the voice of actors James Nesbitt and Jane Horrocks.
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 Barbara Windsor, James Nesbitt, Jane Horrocks, Terry Wogan, Dawn French, Ray Winstone, Neil Morrissey, Martin Clunes, David Jason, David Tennant, Richard Aitken and Kathy Burke amongst others. In 2012, pop singer Ellie Goulding, along with Polydor Records, released a special "Tesco Edition" of Ellie Goulding's sophomore album, Halcyon, sold only in Tesco stores, which included two new bonus tracks. This was in an effort to promote Tesco, and Ellie Goulding.
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. 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. However Intelligent Giving has criticised the company for directing all "staff giving" support to the company's Charity of the Year.
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, £92 million of equipment went to these organisations. The scheme has been also implemented in Poland.
In 2009 Tesco used the phrase, "Change for Good" as advertising, which is trade marked by Unicef for charity usage but not for commercial or retail use, which prompted the agency to say, "It is the first time in Unicef’s history that a commercial entity has purposely set out to capitalise on one of our campaigns and subsequently damage an income stream which several of our programmes for children are dependent on." They went on to call on the public "...who have children’s welfare at heart, to consider carefully who they support when making consumer choices."
Tesco's own labels for personal care and household products are cruelty-free – this means they are not tested on animals.
In September 2011 a Greenpeace report revealed that Tesco supermarkets in China were selling vegetables that contained illegal pesticides or at levels exceeding the legal limit. A green vegetable sample from Tesco turned up methamidophos and monocrotophos, the use of which has been prohibited in China since the beginning of 2007.
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 or slip' injury claims against retailers; and Tesco Supermarkets Ltd v Nattrass, which reached the House of Lords, in which Tesco was cleared of responsibility for a staff member's failure to correct a misleading advert.
In November 2007, Tesco sued a Thai academic and a former minister for civil libel and criminal defamation. Tesco is insisting that the two pay £1.6 million and £16.4 million 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.
Tesco have been criticised for aggressively pursuing critics of the company in Thailand. Writer and former MP Jit Siratranont faced up to two years in jail and a £16.4 million 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. The Thai court dismissed the case, ruling that the criticism made by the defendant was 'in good faith by way of fair comment on any person or thing subjected to public criticism'.
Corporate tax structure
In May 2007, it was revealed that Tesco had moved the head office of its online operations to Switzerland. This allows it to sell CDs, DVDs and electronic games through its web site without charging VAT. The operation had previously been run from Jersey, but had been closed by authorities who feared damage to the island's reputation. In June 2008, the government announced that it was closing a tax loophole being used by Tesco. The scheme, identified by British magazine Private Eye, utilises offshore holding companies in Luxembourg and partnership agreements to reduce corporation tax liability by up to £50 million a year. 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. Tax expert Richard Murphy has provided an analysis of this avoidance structure.
Opposition to expansion
Tesco's expansion has not been without criticism and, in some cases, active opposition.
- In March 2007 residents in Bournville, Birmingham fought to maintain the historic alcohol free status of the area, in winning a court battle with Tesco, to prevent it selling alcohol in its local outlet. No shops are permitted to sell alcohol in the area and there are no pubs, bars or fast-food outlets in Bournville.
- Plans for a large Tesco store in St Albans, Hertfordshire, attracted widespread local opposition. This led to the formation of the "Stop St Albans Tesco Group". In June 2008, St Albans Council refused planning permission for the proposed store.
- In April 2011, longstanding opposition to a Tesco Express store in Cheltenham Road, Stokes Croft, Bristol, evolved into a violent clash between opponents and police. The recently opened storefront was heavily damaged, and police reported the seizure of petrol bombs. Opponents have suggested that the store would damage small shops and harm the character of the area.
Halal in UK stores
As of August 2012, around 27 UK Tesco superstores have halal meat counters. The meat sold is advertised as "stun-free", which puts the meat sold in contradiction of RSPCA standards on animal welfare. The sale of such meat would be illegal in the UK were it not for an exemption in the law granted to Jews and Muslims. Tesco has come under criticism for not selling stunned Halal in its stores and because stores with Halal counters do not always have non-Halal fresh meat counters as well - such as the Edgbaston store in Birmingham.
Horse meat found in burgers
In January 2013, the British media reported that horse meat had been found in some meat products sold by Tesco, along with other retailers, particularly burgers. David Cameron called this "unacceptable", with products showing 29.1% horse meat in the "Value" range burger, which were supposed to be beef. It was later revealed in February 2013 that some of Tesco's Everyday Value Spaghetti Bolognese contained 60% horse meat. Tesco withdrew 26 of its products in response, and announced that they were working with authorities and the supplier to investigate the cause of the contamination.
Slavery in Thailand
In 2014, The Guardian reported that Tesco is a client of Charoen Pokphand Foods. Over 6 months The Guardian traced the whole chain from slave ships in Asian waters to leading producers and retailers. 
Sale of goods from Israel
Tesco has been targeted by protesters complaining the supermarket chain sells goods made in Israel, with most complaints being about products emanating from Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Protests generally occur when Israeli military operations are being carried out in the Gaza Strip or the West Bank. A protest at a store in Birmingham on 16 August 2014 resulted in a protester being arrested.
Mothballing of new stores
Tesco's financial crisis of 2014  led to them reducing their capital expenditure on new stores, which led to the boarding up of new unopened stores in Chatteris, Cambridgeshire  and Immingham, Lincolnshire. The controversial Chatteris mothballing caused local criticism after the £22m project had re-routed a river and built a controversial roundabout and underpass, whilst the much anticipated Immingham development demolished a local shopping centre and closed several local stores to enable its construction. The Impending arrival of Tesco also contributed to the Co-operative to close their store in the town  Tesco announcing the indefinite delay in their store opening left the town of around 15,000 inhabitants without a supermarket for an indefinite period, this despite the fact Tesco went ahead with the opening of stores in Little Lever, Dunfirmline  and Rotherham  all of which have an existing supermarket within a couple of miles of the new stores. With the indefinite delay in opening, Immingham is now over 10 miles from the nearest supermarket in the nearest town of Grimsby. The supermarket famine for the town however, will end in March 2015 as Aldi has announced they will build a store in the shadow of the empty Tesco building, and with a direct dig at Tesco, have guaranteed it will open on time, with no delays. Work commenced in November 2014.
In recent years Tesco alumni have had increasing influence on other large listed businesses. Former Tesco senior staffers include:
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- CEO Figleaves.com: Julia Reynolds
- CEO Dixons Retail plc: John Browett
- Deputy Chair Carphone Warehouse: John Gildersleeve
- CEO Carrefour France: James McCann
- CEO Greggs plc: Ken McMeikan
- CEO Domino's Pizza UK & IRL: Lance Batchelor
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