Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Tesco: Every Little Bag Hinders

Over the the last week, Tesco have decided to use smaller plastic bags in all their Express stores, which seem to be opening up almost as often than Starbucks. An acquaintance of mine has just emailed this...

My wife and I have just come home after popping in to buy a few bits. We came out laden with five bags to do what two bags would have previously done! This seems crazy at a time when the environment is meant to be high on the political agenda! Its also costly in terms of business efficiency and customer service. The queues were round the store as cashiers struggled to pack five bags instead of one. For instance, one carton of milk = one bag. One cereal packet = one bag.
The cashier told us that the store has no big bags left, that the management took the decision against the views of staff and that it was policy not just in our local store but in all stores nationwide. I cannot believe it but then again...The only reason I can think for it is that Tesco are about to charge per bag!

The cashier almost pleaded with us to ring the customer service line and lodge a protest in order to change the decision. The fact that a) the call will probably cost me an arm and a leg and b) it will not do a blind bit of good has caused me to email (but hopefully not bother) you as we both know the best way to shame a major company into changing their minds is to embarrass them.

Quite. What on earth is the logic behind this decision? At a time when there is a growing consensus that the use of plastic bags is out of control it seems idiotic for Tesco to implement this policy.

62 comments:

JuliaM said...

"What on earth is the logic behind this decision?"

It's a 'green' issue. It doesn't require any logic...

asquith said...

"there is a growing consensus that the use of plastic bags is out of control"

Great, so now we can "look forward" to all the Brendan O'Neills, Dominic Lawsons and Charles Moores "challenging" it...

molesworth 1 said...

To find landline alternatives to nasty, expensive 0870 numbers go to...

http://www.saynoto0870.com/

It really p***es them off.

Adrian Yalland said...

Every little helps (the share price)!

Except their 'self service tills', where even a brain surgeon would be forgiven for making mistakes. God knows how much money those things lose through people not paying for good they should!

stuart said...

One could of course bring one's own bags.

Adrian Windisch said...

Typical Tesco, they just can't get it right. They, and other supermarkets, often put a couple of items in each bag. People then leave the shop with loads of them, then chuck them all away.

If other countires can have a small charge per bag, why would it be so difficult for us to do this? Politicians here like to pretend we lead the world on environmental issues, actually we are way behind others.

Brazen Laird said...

Similar with Marks and Spencers.

They are now planning to start charging 5p per carrier bag, with 10p for a so-called 'bag for life'. While this masquerades as a 'green issue', I cannot help but wonder if the supermarkets are using this as an excuse to generate a bit more revenue, and are indeed the cynical uncaring suits we always thought them to be.

Most ridiculous development of the times: M&S 'turtle-friendly' bags - obviously dolphins can get buggered.

Auntie Flo' said...

More bags also means more litter defacing our urban and rural environment around supermarkets. Ironically, much of the store generated litter seems to originate from the store's recycling bins.

The plastic and paper fallout from my local supermarket, plastic bags, newspaper, wrappers and bits of cardboard, blows across fields, into trees, hedges and flower beds all around the store.

What was once a beautiful copse of dozens of mature trees behind that store has become an ugly graveyard for torn plastic bags, most of these eerily hung from branches and blown in the wind.

Those plastic bag strewn trees could be a metaphor for the decaying mess our country has become during the past decade.

Am I looking back through rose tinted spectacles, or did we not have these litter graveyards around our supermarkets

Chris A said...

It would be a great help if they employed enough checkout staff. Every Tesco Express I've ever been in has plenty of empty checkouts and queues practically out the door. Complaining about it does sod all good. I did once refer their ridiculous McEnroe and Borg "we'll open another checkout for you" to the ASA who declined to rule as they said it was only an aspiration.

Personally I'd never go in a Tesco again if you paid me.

Newmania said...

Looking at Tesco`s profits it is pretty clear they are trading unfairly .Labour want to abandon the 'needs' test for out of Town development and seem to have no interest in local shops and CBD`s.
I was really please to see David Cameron getting behind the campaign to save local shops

Well said Flo. This sort of local agenda is far more important in actually getting new votes than an awful lot of the cause celebres of the political class

Anonymous said...

OOoohh.. Criticising Tesco !!

You will have Carter-*uck on the case with you...

Frankly anyone who shops with that bunch of shysters deserves everything they get.

Charlie Root said...

I don't quite get this Iain, you're source has no official statement from Tescos yet, just the hearsay of a checkout girl but they ask you to help 'shame' this company into changing it's mind?

But changing it's mind about what? neither your source, you or your readers know what policy Tesco are 'implementing' but we're all here making comments about the greed of Tesco, the green (non)issue or how plastic bags in car parks is somehow symbolic of how this country has gone to the dogs.

I just don't get it.

p.s. the Tesco help numbers are all 0845 local rate.

p.p.s I prefer Sainsburys.

Anonymous said...

Just been watching Newsnight on the subject of bags, and Government targets to reduce them. I predicted they would get bigger - twice the size and you only need half as many. No benefit to the landfill but Government meets its targets.
Looks like Tesco may have been going the other way in readiness, to increase the number of bags so that the larger ones will make more of an impact on numbers.

bj said...

Last time I went into a Tesco express, I bought two items. The checkout worker somehow contrived to ask me THREE times during the course of this transaction whether I had a club card. Astounding.

Anonymous said...

So they increase the number of bags, and then re increase the size thus meeting Government targets.
Every Lidil Helps, only £p a bag and last a while.

Anonymous said...

Call them - it's free on 0800 50 55 55. I did today to ask why they were pricing their clothes in pounds and euros. Prompt answer, by intelligent sounding staff. They are going to ring me back as no one on duty knew why. Do they know something which we don't? They were using exchsnge rate of 1.50 euros to the pound - if only.....

Anonymous said...

Ring them on 0800 505555 free of charge, and you will get a prompt response from their call centre whiuch I think is in Dundee.

dozzy said...

Why can't we all take our groceries home in the cardboard boxes that the supermarkets throw out, as happened until the 80s. We've only been using these plastic bags for 20 years, if that.

All the supermarkets have to do, and other shops as well, is just stop providing bags. Then we'd take shopping bags with us when we go shopping. It's not difficult.

Anonymous said...

When I went into M&S the other day it was "do you want a bag for life" - in May it'll be 5p a bag.

Nobody, but NOBODY, remembers to fill their pockets with plastic bags to take shopping. It's a money-making scam.

They should either a) use paper bags which are much more environmentally-friendly, or b) have big recycling bins for plastic bags, which some Sainsburys do. Otherwise they are certain to be binned.

Anonymous said...

Brazen Laird said...
"Similar with Marks and Spencers.
They are now planning to start charging 5p per carrier bag"

Not just planning to. They have been charging for some time now.

Anonymous said...

"What was once a beautiful copse of dozens of mature trees behind that store has become an ugly graveyard for torn plastic bags"

Have you thought of picking some of them up?

Anonymous said...

Newmania said...
"Looking at Tesco`s profits it is pretty clear they are trading unfairly"

Not unfailrly. Just efficiently. That's what free enterprise is about.

Anonymous said...

Your story seems to be simply that one particular store ran out of the normal sized bags.

You then assume that it applies to Tesco nationwide. Wouldn't it have been as well to check with Tesco head office before doing this entry?

Anonymous said...

"I did today to ask why they were pricing their clothes in pounds and euros."

It is because in some areas they accept euros.

verity said...

Adrian Windisch says: "Politicians here like to pretend we lead the world on environmental issues,...".

1. They do? Why?

2. "Typical Tesco, they just can't get it right."

You sound like a naive idiot who thinks Britain has collapsed and is disintegrating because the government "they couldn't run a whelk stall!" (always with a revelatory exclamation mark), not understanding that the government is carrying out a plan at which it is succeeding with tragic spectacularity. And "Typical Tesco ... they just can't get it right". You're the one who can't get it right. Tesco is doing fine.

2. "If other countries can make a small charge per bag" "Politicians here like to pretend we lead the world ...". As Britain doesn't lead the world in anything - not even an unelected prime minister - Africa's full of them - yhour point is moot.

I don't know what Tesco's agenda is, but I guarantee it is well thought-out and will work.

Anonymous said...

Small carrier bags are just a ploy.

With the ever increasing cost of food your big bag was only getting half full with the same cash that used to fill it.

By using small bags you now think your cash has gone furhter as you are filling 5 bags where you used to just fill just one!

verity said...

I will be un-green until I die, but I do believe all these squillions a day, worldwide, of plastic bags, probably harm our co-tenants of this planet.

Paper bags don't hurt any creatures. But I seem to recall that these same little leftie "ooooooh, it's ALL OF OUR planet" drabs were sobbing about trees being cut down to make paper bags. Ooooh, I have to hug this tree! It's a living creature and they are coming to KILL it!

My suggestion, lefties, buy a "Peace Basket" woven by a bunch of losers somewhere in Africa, and carry your groceries home on your head.

Anonymous said...

Tesco made 4 billion dollars profit last year, so they must be doing something right - like overcharging their customers (who if I recall were originally the lower spectrum of the populace?)

Verity said...

Anonymous 12:18 - "Have you thought of picking some of them up:?"

No.

So?

Anonymous said...

Why don't they use paper bags as in the US. Is it that plastic bags lead to extra revnue when paid for or when Gordon taxes them?

I always get 'a packer' and I've noticed they use far more bags than I would have because they use the logic of all bread in one, cakes in another and so on. Daft I think.

Semaj Mahgih said...

Our mart has rubbish bin sized bags - that's Russian logic.

BrianSJ said...

I thought that when Gordon Brown decided to be in charge of plastic bags he had found something he could actually do.

The comment about preparing for targets is lovely, and horribly plausible.

jean shaw said...

I am sorry to disagree but the campaign against plastic bags is one of the most misguided around.
Most people reuse plastic bags for many purposes e.g prepackaging waste for disposal in wheelie bins, collecting dog pooh ,passing onto charity shops/local village store.
In Ireland use of heavy duty plastic has increased four fold since a charge/tax was introduced and as a result the actual weight of plastic disposed of has gone up.

Plastic bags are far cheaper to transport than paper bags since they weigh considerably less and cost far less to produce.

In Australia where the plastic bag has been outlawed the economic effect on the economy has been negative.

The so called green bags made from organic materials are generally produced in developing countries and are shipped here at a considerable cost to the environment as well as at times being made from dubious environmental sources.

The myth about danger to sea life from plastic bags is just that the green lobby carefully censored/amended the original report on the dangers of plastic to p[retend it referred to bags when it referred to plastic in general and the report's authors have tried in vain to correct the myth but , of course , once the ball is rolling it is difficult to stop it.

I also find it amusing that people are willing to pay M and S for the privilege of carrying round bags advertising M and S 's name. To get a bag free was an acceptable quid pro quo but in normal circumstance if M and S wanted me to advertise their brand they would have to pay me.

Fortunately some more sensible retailers e.g John Lewis, Sainsbury's are saying the attack on plastic bags is misguided.

Lets be clear this is another Government con to raise more taxes and has little to with the environment

ScotsToryB said...

For your enlightenment, the unintended consequences of greenmentalists:

http://66.102.9.104/search?q=cache:
D8QlF19U8hkJ:www.carrierbagtax.com/
downloads/sound%2520bites%2520update
%2520Jan%25202008.doc+irish+plastic+
bin+bags+increase&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=2

Sorry about the length of the link but, hey, the messenger and all that.

STB.

Anonymous said...

Why all this hostility to supermarket plastic bags? They are a highly efficient way of clearing up after a dog has done its business, a fact clearly lost on Gordon Brown. Perhaps if enough of us send him a specimen, he might reconsider.

Anonymous said...

Try the e-mail direct to Terry L. Use the investor relations / PR contacts part of their web site to crack their e-mail conventions. Expect a personal response within 3 hours from one of his people. It works much better than you might think.

Roger Thornhill said...

I would not be surprised if Tesco reverses its decision if people complain enough.

The State, however, does not need to listen to people, in fact with things like bin taxing, it gets frustrated when the "idea" is to be properly evaluated in a trial as that means you get a wave of complaint before the whole country is stitched up in a fait accompli*.

Always remember you can go to Sainsburys'. Until we get a Libertarian Party government, you will not have that option in health or education.

* and somebody's mate gets a fat contract to supply over priced devices for said taxing.

Auntie Flo' said...

Anonymous 17/4 12:18 AM said...

"What was once a beautiful copse of dozens of mature trees behind that store has become an ugly graveyard for torn plastic bags"

Have you thought of picking some of them up?



They are hanging from branches at a height of 20' to 50', Anon.

Anyway, the supermarkets should be the ones to clear their litter pollution out of their huge profits.

angelneptunestar said...

This article made me so so mad!

It is not necessary ever to use supermarket plastic bags and the answer lies with us, the customer.

why wait for the retail giants to take action, when they are driven by profit?

For the past two years, I have taken 2 shoppers with me as well as my handbag and it does not cause me a bit of bother. I can put all my newspapers that I buy in them and any extra shopping I need.

When I do a big shop, I bring more shoppers. The only bags take from supermarkets are reusable ones.

IT IS DOWN TO US. Don't just lie back passively, leave it to the supermarkets and moan that there is a problem. TAKE THE INITIATIVE YOURSELF. or quit moaning about it.

Terry L said...

"The fact that a) the call will probably cost me an arm and a leg and b) it will not do a blind bit of good has caused me to email (but hopefully not bother) you as we both know the best way to shame a major company into changing their minds is to embarrass them"

Ah yes - a good rant to somebody who has no responsibilies is clearly better than asking the company themselves.

For goodness sake - if you don't like it, try to change it.

John M Ward said...

I'm with Stuart and Jean Shaw, and have been throughout my shopping life. I take bags with me when I go shopping (typically a canvas bag with a few plastic bags from a previous trip stuffed in the bottom) and get all these ready once I have loaded up onto the check-out.

I have one of those holders for plastic bags at home, and they are re-sued for various purposes, including for kitchen rubbish.

This so very quickly became my normal practice that I don't think of it as being unusual -- it's just part of the routine here.

If everyone else did the same, the plastic bag issue would completely disappear and we could all move on to discuss something perhaps somewhat more important in the great scheme of things.

jean shaw said...

Re my earlier comment very interesting article in Telegraph today by Justin King CEO Sainsburys which demonstrates that Government and others are going the wrong way about usage of plastic bags, it reinforces some of the points I made earlier and makes some additional interesting ones:-
Today Sainsbury's has announced its intention to reduce the number of free one-use disposable plastic bags it issues by 50pc by April 2009. A huge task, and not one we've taken on lightly, but we're committed to working with our customers to help them change habits, effecting real and sustained change.

However, this debate is much wider than just the number of plastic bags in use. Most consumers are genuinely concerned about the environment and want to play their part - but it's getting harder to separate fact from fiction.

In last month's Budget the Government announced plans to legislate to require retailers to charge consumers for single-use bags. I for one was disappointed. Last year a large number of retailers, not just supermarkets, sat down in good faith with Wrap, the government-funded body concerned with packaging and food waste, and Defra to agree a voluntary approach to cutting the environmental impact of plastic bags by 25pc by the end of 2008 - not simply the number of bags.

advertisement
This target appears to have been thrown out and informed debate overturned. I believe in examining facts to make sure actions can really deliver the desired effect and engaging people in rounded open debate so they can make informed choices for themselves.

But by concentrating on just one part of the life-cycle of the plastic bag, and charging for its use, the issue is being blurred. There's a disconnect between the core concern and the apparent solution.

More from the retail sector
Sainsbury's boss attacks Darling's bag charges
Our customers continue to tell us that they don't want to be charged for bags but they do want help to break the habit of taking one-use bags. Far from forcing the issue, a levy could bring about the opposite effect and undermine the very prospect of real and lasting progress.

Data suggests that following the introduction of a bag levy in Ireland, polythene imports returned to original levels after an initial dip. This was partly due to an increase in the sale of polythene bin liners as people had previously used plastic bags. People are also said to have become used to the tax and now ask for plastic bags again.

Like many environmental issues, plastic, and its use in bags, is a complex problem. Customers are concerned about three key aspects: that a valued raw resource is being used (in this case oil); the environmental impact (or carbon effect) of the manufacture, transport and use of bags; and the impact of their disposal, whether in landfill or as litter.

The effect plastic has on the environment is a wider issue than the number of bags we use. For a start, not all bags are equal. Sainsbury's is still the only major retailer to have reduced the amount of plastic used to manufacture bags. Today we've also announced that our bags, currently made with 33pc recycled content and 10pc chalk, will by June use 50pc recycled content.

In this way we have reduced the amount of plastic used. Last month Wrap acknowledged our 40pc reduction in our environmental impact to date versus an industry average of 14pc, and also ahead of the agreed 25pc target by the end of 2008.

If plastic is the demon then the bag is just one of many uses. For many customers, packaging is a bigger issue. Why would we wrap a cucumber in plastic or put apples in a bag? Well, because they last nearly two weeks longer. In April, Wrap research showed storing fruit and vegetables in their original plastic wrapping in the fridge makes them last significantly longer. It also retains the nutritional goodness of the food. So what's the bigger evil - food waste or packaging?

The environmental impact of the manufacture, distribution and use of plastic bags also busts another myth - that paper is the answer. An irony in Ireland following the levy was that many retailers introduced paper bags. Although they can degrade or rot in a compost heap, they are on average six times heavier than plastic bags and take up 10 times the space. They therefore need more fuel and vehicle space to transport than a plastic bag.

A University of Winnipeg study concluded that in their manufacture "paper bags are twice as energy intensive as a plastic one". They're also weaker, especially when wet, so cannot be reused as often, so it's likely we could end up using even more.

What of plastic disposal? There are limited facilities in the UK for plastic recycling, no meaningful incentives for these to be established and no consistency between councils. The only thing I can say with any certainty is that if you live within reach of a Sainsbury's supermarket we'll get them recycled for you. Last year customers brought back 85m bags to be recycled. Surely action on recycling would be a better area for legislation? If all councils had a uniform approach to recycling how much easier life would be.

As I said, it's complex. Sainsbury's focuses on "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle". Only take a disposable bag if you really need it, and fill it - it's been designed for the purpose. Reuse bags whenever you can. And when they've served you well - give them back.

So I'm not saying plastic and bags are not an issue, but let's engage people in sensible debate to effect real and sustainable change. Surely that's the overall goal.

Justin King is chief executive of Sainsbury's

sockpuppet said...

Not unfailrly. Just efficiently. That's what free enterprise is about.

suspect this is true. Until it is proven that they have broken the law I have no problem with Tesco. They played the free market game and won. People seem to forget how recently it was that they were far behind in the supermarket stakes. Then they started selling good product at competitive prices and now they're the biggest. For some reason this offends people so much that even people on the right of the centre have started to think that they must be doing something underhand. Never once is it suggested that they sell things people want at a price that they can afford.

Anonymous said...

Who else saw the interview this morning (about 7:50 AM) on the business slot of BBC Breakfast TV with the CEO of Sainsbury? Here he explicitly said that the government's recent threat about a bag tax was just a publicity stunt. One of the strongest critisms of Brown's spin I've seen from a non-politician for a bit.

jafo said...

Sockpuppet at 10.26 - totally agree with you. Tesco are an extremely well-run and efficient business. The people who run it have fought their way up the greasy pole at Tesco and I suspect if you can't cut it - you don't get promoted. They don't seem to feel the need to take in outsiders who know nothing whatever about their business to tell them what to do - as a number of other once great retailers have done, to their cost.

They sell what people want at a price they are prepared to pay, and they do it very well. If they didn't, they'd be bust.

I suspect the "let's knock Tesco" brigade are the usual - we're British, we hate everything successful - bunch who turn up in the newspapers every time something British starts doing well.

I don't work for Tesco, don't have shares in them, don't have anything whatever to do with them other than as a customer. But I'm fairly sure that if they were going down the tubes, which Sainsbury nearly did when they took their eye off the ball, all these hate merchants would shut up.

Personally, I always reuse my bags, but I like being given one if I need it - don't wish to pay to advertise the store, as used to be the case. The bags are indeed useful, as many people have said, for lots of other purposes. The last thing Tesco need is advice from Gordon Brown on how to run a business!

asquith said...

I have my shopping delivered from various independent businesses. Not only is it environmentally friendly, it's actually cheaper, and the very best thing... it ends once and for all the nightmare of shopping. We really have progressed so far since the 1950s. Now, people don't have to spend their entire lives doing everyday things in inefficient ways.

verity said...

8:09, following up his argument that plastic bags are reused by people - one of those uses being to pick up and dispose of dog poo. He suggested sending a bag of doggie poo to Gordon Brown to illustrate his point.

What this brought to my mind is, the Gordon Brown household is so gruesome it doesn't even have a pet in it. The Blairs didn't have any household pets, either. There is something faintly sinister and telling about this, but I can't put my finger on it.

The Blairs had four children and no pets. Isn't that .... weird? The Browns have two children and no pets. These children have been deprived, in some primal way, of a link with other species. These socialists do so love the world, do they not? Gordon Brown cares about sea life and plastic bags and doesn't even share his home with one cat or one dog. One more grotesquerie.

Beachhutman in Beijing said...

China is about to force stores here to charge for bags. Seems sensible. Only downside is that they charge almost the lowest denomination coin, and there are not enough in circulation. The coins cost more to produce than their face value... do the math!

verity said...

"At a time when there is a growing consensus that the use of plastic bags is out of control it seems idiotic for Tesco to implement this policy."

It is a corporate decision. It's up to the board and the shareholders to decide how to run their business. Customers who don't like their policies are free to shop elsewhere. The marketplace is the best regulator.

Anonymous said...

Verity said ... "The Blairs had four children and no pets. Isn't that .... weird? The Browns have two children and no pets."

Politicians are generally less likely than the average family to have household pets. Probably due mainly to their lifestyle - 2 houses, irregular hours, etc.

verity said...

Most MPs are married or have a partner. The spouse doesn't attend late sittings.

Gordon Brown doesn't have far to travel to his place of employment. Neither did Blair.

In any event, MPs aren't unique. Journalists also work irregular hours. So do people in the emergency services. So do airline crews and airport personnel. Many a merchant banker and barrister burn the midnight oil, yet I'll bet they all have pets.

Most people have neighbours who will pop in and feed a pet and clean a litter tray for two or three days.

I think it is curious that two households with young children - the Blairs and the Munsters - do not bring their children up with a pet(s) sharing their home. I see it as an emotional defect.

Johnny Norfolk said...

The retailers should be left alone to run their businesses. It is all due to presure on the supermarkets by the labour dictatorship lets hurt the public and make life more difficult for them.

skip said...

To correct some of the cynics above...

The profit made from M&S bag charges is going to their environmental charity 'Groundwork'

Their bag charges trial in the south east raised £80,000 and cut carrier bags usage by 70%. They hope to exceed this in the rest of their shops and put moe back into community projects.

Just like people adapt to the smoking ban they will adapt to the bag charges - either bringing their own, shopping elsewhere or paying for bags.

Anonymous said...

"I think it is curious that two households with young children - the Blairs and the Munsters - do not bring their children up with a pet(s) sharing their home. I see it as an emotional defect."

Does anyone know what pets there are in the Cameron, Osborne and Hague households?

angelneptunestar said...

I don't have a pet and there is nothing wrong with me. I actually can't stand pets, and don't like animals much.

When I was a baby, a cat lay on my face and nearly smothered me. I think this might be something to do with it.

Curmy said...

Don't talk to me about Tescos, they're trying to open a super store in our historic market town !

Adrian Windisch said...

Verity, you say 'Many a merchant banker and barrister burn the midnight oil, yet I'll bet they all have pets.' What all of them? You would loose your bet.

Politicians like Blair/Brown/Clegg and Cameron do pretend to lead the world on environmental issues, just see their endless press releases. But scratch the surface and its tax increases and business as usual.

You resort to insulting me, a sure sign your loosing the argument. You say I use exclamation marks, and quote "they couldn't run a whelk stall!" but I didn't say that. And I didn't use any.

Tesco is doing very well, but at a cost the rest of us are having to pay. We are loosing local shops, diversity, choice, .....

verity said...

Adrian Windisch, well of course, I overstated my case. Not every barrister and every merchant banker comes home to his family and a nice little moggie or dog.

My point, obvious to anyone but a pedant, was, tens - perhaps hundreds - of thousands of people in Britain don't work family friendly hours, but have a pet in the household.

You're correct. You didn't use any exclamation points and you didn't write that they couldn't run a whelk stall and I failed to mention that I was writing, in those two cases, in the generic sense. I cede this point as far as you personally are concerned.

You add: "Tesco is doing very well, but at a cost the rest of us are having to pay. We are loosing local shops, diversity, choice, .....".

It's terrible. But it's the way of the world. And if "the cost to the rest of us" that you cite without reference was so great, we wouldn't pay it.

People, including me, are selfish and they want the cheapest. And the most convenient. They can park free in a Tesco's lot and do a huge whack of their shopping. We all want the local shops to be there, but they cannot operate on the sliced-down, tiny margins of Tesco with their gigantic buying power.

sockpuppet said...

Tesco is doing very well, but at a cost the rest of us are having to pay. We are loosing local shops, diversity, choice, .....

Adrian, you imply that Tesco being successful is the prime mover, and its success is somehow taking something away from us. Which is, I'm afraid, a**e about t*t. The reality, surely, is that consumer spending is the prime factor, voluntarily giving our custom to Tesco instead of those 'local' shops with their diversity and choice. The effect of this is that Tesco does well and the local shops fail. So it's not their fault. It's ours.

But to be honest, I grew up in a provincial spa town just before the boom of the supermarkets and I guarantee you there is more diversity and choice in my local tesco superstore now than there ever was on the high street there/then. Basically - with some fondly remembered exceptions which tend to colour everyone's memory - the 'traditional' shops failed because they were dire. Maybe your experience was different.

jafo said...

Until recently, the (quite large) town I live in had no grocery shops at all except a big Sainsburys on the outer fringe. The freezer food shop in the town centre took to stocking bread and milk etc. because there was nowhere else it could be bought. Where were all these lovely local diverse shops people keep talking about?

When a Tesco Express opened recently people were almost dancing in the streets, they were so delighted to find a shop in the town centre which sold FOOD!

Adrian Windisch said...

The idea was for the monopolies and merges comission to stop any shop getting to big, but under Blair/Brown they have been rendered impotent.

Its the same with Bill Gates Windows, anyone getting too big becomes to influential for the rest of the market.

www.tescopoly.org has some good information on this. Tesco now controls 30% of the grocery market in the UK. Growing evidence indicates that Tesco's success is partly based on trading practices that are having serious consequences for suppliers, farmers and workers worldwide, local shops and the environment

Anonymous said...

"At a time when there is a growing consensus that the use of plastic bags is out of control"

No there isn't. Just another bright idea to raise taxes and make life so difficult for ordinary people that they have no energy left to fight the nulab destruction of Britain.