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FO Tesco

Tesco is a retail leech, draining the commercial lifeblood from the small local independent operators, a parasite on the UK's high streets, taking more than it gives. Their motive is profit (at any cost), their methods are ruthless, their ambition is monopolistic domination.

The bean-counters at Tesco have spotted that Herne Bay only has 1 Tesco, but 40,000 people. Panic! Everyone in Britain MUST have a Tesco on their doorstep! Everyone MUST do all their daily shopping at Tesco! The bean-counters frantically tap away at their spreadsheets. A sigh of relief whistles through their dungeon as they find a solution - open more Tesco stores.

I don't have a problem with capitalism, or competition. What does bug me is situations (like Tesco in retail) where a market that affects everyone on a daily basis is grossly distorted by a handful of players, each of them massively largely than the majority of the competition. At this point all the supposed benefits of free market capitalism simply evaporate.

Tesco uses its wealth to outbid all-comers for the prime sites.

Tesco uses its wealth to outspend and outlast local Councils in the long and expensive planning process - as they did to get the Express store in Canterbury Road.

Tesco cannot be accused of over-paying or pampering their employees.

Tesco uses its negotiating muscle (as the largest supermarket) to squeeze their suppliers' profit margins to the point where its barely worth it, resulting in an almost feudal relationship.

Tesco rides rough-shod over local opinion, time and again.

It's worth noting that a lot of people don't like Tesco, for a wide range of reasons. It appears that an organisation called Christian Voice has mobilised against Tesco, praying for "confusion in the Tesco boardroom" and emailing directors and leafleting at stores, making ordinary shoppers aware of the store’s support for "depravity" and "arrogance".

So that's them screwed, I guess.

The Tescopoly Alliance was launched in June 2005 to highlight and challenge the negative impacts of Tesco's behaviour along its supply chains both in the UK and internationally, on small businesses, on communities and the environment. The campaign also advocates national and international legislation needed to curb the market power of all the major British supermarkets.

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