Tesco Town is British slang for an area where one retailer has large market share.
In October 2009 the Competition Commission passed its proposal for a "competition test" on to the Department for Communities and Local Government. The test would ban from adding more space in an area, which it says will improve choice for shoppers by making it easier for rival grocers to open.
Towns dominated by Tesco
Bicester is one of the UK's best known Tesco-towns, operating six stores in a region with a population of 29,000. Featuring a Tesco superstore on the southern side of town, near the Bicester Village designer outlet, a Tesco Metro in the town centre and a further four Tesco Express stores around the general neighbourhood and community areas. At its peak, Tesco's market share in the town was 90%.
Following the opening of a large Sainsbury's in Bicester town centre in 2013, and the proposed extension of the Bicester Village outlet centre over the Tesco superstore site, Tesco is planning to re-locate and double the size of that store into a Tesco Extra, to better compete with Sainsbury's. Sainsbury's has indicated that when the new Tesco Extra opens, they will extend their own superstore to compete with Tesco.
Aldi and Lidl have also opened stores in the town recently.
Both Asda and Waitrose have considered opening supermarkets in Bicester in the past, but have decided against due to the high Tesco market share.
However, since the opening of Sainsbury's, the market share of Tesco is said to have plummeted. In January 2015, Tesco announced the closure of their Tesco Metro store in Bicester, located directly opposite the Sainsbury's superstore.
Tesco traditionally had a market share of 50% in Aylesbury. The company has three stores. This compares to Sainsbury's having two stores and Morrisons. However, branches of Aldi, Lidl, Asda and Waitrose opened in quick succession in 2013. There are plans for a second Aldi as of 2014 and plans for a third Sainsbury's as of 2015.
Tesco has an 80% market share in Buckingham at present. The retailer currently has two stores in the town. The only major competition is a branch of Waitrose. However, this will change when two Sainsbury's stores open up.
Oakham is also said to be a town where Tesco has a high market share. There is also a proposal to build a Sainsbury's supermarket in the town.
In 2007, it was reported that in Inverness, where there are currently four stores in the small city, Tesco had a 51% share of the market for groceries in the city, the highest rate of penetration for any locality in the UK.
Banbridge, Co Down in Northern Ireland can also be classed as a Tesco Town with a Superstore and Extra store for a population of approximately 14,000.
- Martin, Lorna (1 January 2006). "The supermarket that ate a town". The Observer. Retrieved 2009-10-06.
- Felstas, Andrea (October 3, 2009). "Competition watchdog proposes curbs on spread of 'Tesco towns'". Financial Times. Retrieved 2009-10-06.
- Derbyshire, David (24 January 2007). "Bicester: the town Tesco's six times over". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2012-08-09.
- Sproule, Luje (28 January 2015). "Tesco Metro in Bicester to shut after firm announces national closures". Newsquest Oxfordshire. Retrieved 2015-01-28.
- McKenzie, Steven (31 October 2007). "'Tesco Town' may face store wars". BBC. Retrieved 2009-10-06.
- Hipwell, Deidre (April 21, 2008). "DevSecs sells Liverpool’s Kirkby Shopping Centre to Tesco". Property Week. Retrieved 2009-10-06.
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