Sunday, 24 April 2011


There was a time when Tesco had a stigma attached to it so bad you knew that if you showed up anywhere within a 1 mile radius of your school with a Tesco shopping bag you were going to get it like you were either A) black and in the deep south or B) Ginger.  Today Tesco is the new cool.  It is everywhere.  You can quite literally fall off a kerb on one side of the road into the automatic doors of another. When did this happen?

The 1997 landslide victory of 'New Labour' saw Tesco make donations to the Labour party and again in 2003.  The past 13 years have seen a dramatic increase in the number and size of stores around not only the UK but the world.  In China for example a nice little loop hole was found whereby they can have more than one store on the same street whereas Chinese chains cannot.  I am also sure David Cameron has recently been to China and found himself stuck at a checkout.  He should have used the automated till.  Tesco Direct. Tesco Express. Tesco this, Tesco that.  Even the great Banksy has taken a swipe at the Tesco brand.  Do we think that the Tesco Corporation gave Tony Blair a load of money in a 'scratch our backs and we'll scratch yours' nudge and wink?

Over the years there has been a large 'No to a Tesco Town' campaign and rightly so.  It is another example of a humans lack of choice.  It can (and will be argued I am sure) that people do have a choice, they can choose to shop locally etc.  These choices are limited and in large an illusion as the decisions have been made for them already without them knowing in the unconscious mind.   It is said that we are bombarded by up to 5000 advertisements a day and corporations like Tesco have an endless well of resources to ensure they have a slice of this advertising pie.  You can make a difference by being an informed consumer, by not shopping in these places.  The convenience of a 'one stop shop' is another way of eroding your choice.  Who decided that the weekly shop would also benefit from a new 32 inch LED T.V? This is a human want, not need. I would be interested to know how many people have gone to one of these new 'superstores' on a weekly shop and come back with a new sofa.

In another twist someone I know recently applied for a job within the company and they were told that they were 'not what they were looking for' as an influx of foreign workers were taking these jobs.  It would be easy for people to get angry, pointing the finger at lax immigration etc and sounding like David Cameron and his 'one black kid' University jibe or the EDL numpties.  However Tesco are actually quite aggressively expanding into Europe and the countries these new workers come from seem to be the same ones they are expanding into.  You could call it cynical but is it perhaps another example of 'scratch our backs and we'll scratch yours'?  Who knows but I am interested to see where the Tesco story takes us next.  With some of the new building schemes Tesco have planned to implement including new schools, roads and hospitals etc, even new towns, who knows what the future will bring.  Allegiance to the flag perhaps...

Picture of David Cameron taken from The Daily Mail.
Art work by Banksy

1 comment:

  1. last i heard they say 1 in every 6 pounds is spent in tesco, thats not just shopping budgets thats EVERY £6 thats crazy. When we finally start colonising the stars they won't have traditional names it will be Planet Pepsi, the Starbuck galaxy and the Tesco nebula