‘Eat that!’ yells a vilified Netto

New vast Tescos at Trafford, Manchester

Depressing, moi?

Which? Magazine (my Dad subscribes) has a feature this month called Best and Worst Supermarkets.

Forget what supermarkets do to undermine communities, this survey was purely about what they are like to shop in.

The survey placed the mighty Tesco at the very bottom of the list. ‘Eat that!’ yells a vilified Netto.

The survey looked at pricing, the freshness of fresh produce and the great British afterthought, customer service.

Participants found shopping in Tesco ‘unpleasant’ and that stores tended to have ‘surly staff’.

Quote: Tesco is also considered the supermarket which cares the least about its customers and is least trustworthy.

‘It’s too keen on profits and not keen enough on service,’ one member told Which?.

Only 27% of members felt that Tesco is helping to ease the strain on their food budget. No other store in the Which? survey was as poorly-rated in this respect.


The Tesco Effect hits Altrincham Hardest

Ghost Town Vancancy Rate

Let’s face it, the battle to save our towns from becoming crap-towns has been fought and lost.

In reality it wasn’t a fair fight. In war/fairness terms it was like pitting the 101st Airborne against Nicholas Parsons.

In his excellent and blood-pressure doubling book Captive State, George Monbiot talks about the Tesco-effect and what it does to towns.

This effect is approximately this: If a Tesco (or any big supermarket) opens a store in your town, employing say 500 people, then within a 5 mile radius roughly 1000 people will lose their jobs and businesses.

Net loss, 500 jobs (usually butchers, pubs, ice-cream men, chemists, milkmen, bookshops and, of course, grocers).

With this in mind, I was not exactly astonished to read that the town of Altrincham topped a recent list of new ghost towns, towns with a high incidence of vacancies – a word planners use to mean boarded up shops.

Now Altrincham was, until recently, considered quite posh. It is still surrounded on all sides by prosperous family neighbourhoods and good schools.

With Dewsbury and Bradford, also high on this ghost town list, there are other factors, like a terminal decline in industry. But Altrincham doesn’t have these broader, historical problems.

So why has the town centre wobbled and waned faster than Eric Pickles doing the three peaks? Well a downward view from google maps sheds light.

Altrincham not only has one of the biggest Tesco stores I’ve ever seen (blue on the map below), but somehow it got permission to build this megashed literally fifty yards from the high street (red).

(Supermarket people always claim they will ‘increase choice’ if they are allowed to build. The term ‘increase choice’ is used by all sorts of idiots, often politicians just before they begin privatising something.)

Altrincham Town Centre

Altrincham Town Centre, what chance did it have?

If you start walking from the other side of the town centre, the place visibly gives up and dies the closer you get to the Tesco Extra.

Wonder if a late counter-offensive from Mary Portas could put things right?

Doing better than good, and why that’s never enough for Tesco – Published: 11 Aug 2009

In 1998, the government commissioned a study of the impact of big stores on market towns. It found that when a large supermarket is built on the edge of the centre, other food shops lose between 13 and 50% of their trade.

The result is the closure of some town centre food retailers; increases in vacancy levels; and a general decline in the quality of the environment of the centre.

Towns are hit especially hard where supermarkets “are disproportionately large compared with the size of the centre”.

In these cases the superstore becomes the new town centre, leaving the high street to shrivel.

Read George Monbiot’s article in full

The Tesco Effect, as witnessed by me, on my local high street…

A Tesco opens

A new Tesco opens on the high street, with its tried and tested formula...

Long established grocers Harts and also Cullens both close down.

…and long established grocers Harts and also Cullens, both of which offered a product range based on local demand, were forced to close down.

Modern Life is Rubbish #23332 – In the future, all shops will…

[ Published: 12 May 2009 ]

Asda. In the future all clothing will work on a buy one get one free basis (already successful with socks)…

But jacket, get trousers free. George at Asda.

But jacket, get trousers free. George at Asda.

And at the news stand in Tesco…  

In the future all magazines will be distilled into one magazine called Jamie.

Jamie Magazine

Jamie Magazine

Each page will have a flavoured picture of Jamie that you can lick.

If you lick it enough, the picture wears away to reveal TV listings showing when the next cookery programme is on.

In the future cookery programmes will be on all the time, meaning the Editor of Jamie can just use the same listings issue after issue, saving time and money. This saved cash will be put to better use buying more page-flavouring.

In the future, after Jamie is dead, licked to death by an obsessive fan presumably, the magazine will fold. That will be the end of the printed word because people won’t read anything that doesn’t have a flavour.

In the future, Asda will produce a suit that has the shirt, tie, socks, pants and shoes all conveniently sewn in. If you buy one you’ll get a second one free. When you get a hole in a sock you’ll just throw it all away or give it to a tramp.

In the future, tramps (many of them redundant Listings Editors) will all wear suits and ties as these will be cheaper than jeans, T-shirts, tracksuits etc.

The reading material they will sleep under will also be their evening meal.

Tesco – The Supermarket That’s Eating Britain – Published: 15 Feb 2007

Monday 19th Feb, Channel 4 – there’s a Tesco-bashing documentary on – I think. I can’t find a link to any indepth info on the C4 site but will add it if I find it.

Dispatches Channel 4 
Monday 19th Feb at 2000hrs.
“The Supermarket that is Eating Britain”

***UPDATE watch the whole thing here 

C4 have an online listing which says:

Tesco is Britain’s favourite supermarket. With 2,000 stores and 15 million customers a week, it’s almost twice as big as its nearest rival. Dispatches shows how Tesco could soon become even bigger, and asks if this retail giant is abusing its power.



Tesco Scans You Darkly – Published: 13 Jun 2005

So, I’ve bored all my friends to death with how much I hate Tescos but just read this. Just read the first paragraph if nothing else.

I wonder if even the great Sci-Fi genius and predictor of future corporate horridness, Philip K Dick, could have foreseen that Supermarkets would grow so powerful that they have no compunction, feel no need to seek permission before attempting to spy on you.

Tesco: the testosterone powered supermarket

Bugs in the packaging. Tracing your movements. Tagging you, essentially. Surely just a dark sci-fi idea? But no. I mean, the government at least has a debate about such things as ID cards; Tesco just glibly go ahead and do what they want to do, in secret.

If you find that disturbing, don’t shop there.

(If you feel you must still shop there, at least switch few items around each time you go, just to annoy them.)


A visitor‘ left this comment on 17 Jun 05
Yeah, but imagine: instead of unloading your trolley and heaving all your shopping onto that conveyor belt; only for it to be beep…beep…beeped before you struggle with plastic bags and heave it all back into your trolley…Fill your trolley, roll it – with all its radio-tagged packages – through some sort of airport-style gate and… BEEP! That’s how much you owe us – thanks; and there’s your receipt – cheers then!

Dogs Must Be Carried‘ left this comment on 14 Jun 05
This is working on the assumption that the people who work at your local branch of Tesco are intelligent enough to stock the shelves with product in the first place – and that the product isn’t rotting away underneath its microchip. Unfortunately, though, mine is slap bang in the middle of four branches of Sainsbury’s and we all know what they’re like with their product range and supply chain.

Posts from December 2004

Published: 2 Dec 2004

Once it’s gone it’s gone

Landmark Dublin cafes will close

Wonder what they’ll turn it into? My guess, a Carphone Warehouse.
Published: 6 Dec 2004

On british TV you get
…on average 62 programmes a week devoted to buying/selling/decorating houses.

Pretty sad really. Especially when you condsider how many science programmes there are. Actually I can’t think of a single one. And this is a shame given the extraodindary things going on in the world.
…Like Burt Rutan winning the X Prize, for example. Surely a TV series in that?


Every Little Helps… them

You hate tesco and will never shop there. Come on, say it with me.

They are monopolistic bastards. What you buy in your local Tesco contributes to a crime against ordinary working people somewhere else. Repeat and believe. Every little helps only them.

What started as a big boys pissing competition with Sainsburys in the 90s has ended with them being more powerful than god. And they ain’t benevolent.

Some Reading (every little you read helps)

Farming Heriatge Buggered up the bum by Tesco.

They can’t pay farmers a fair price for milk becuase they only made a profit of £822million in the first half of this year. They can’t afford to offer sick pay either.

They have time to destroy our heritage though and shit on local people. They lower their prices to destroy local traders and produce suppliers, then raise them again when they control the market. They expand expand expand until there’s nothing else to buy up but your local corner shop.

Hold on to your culture. And if you’re still not troubled by Tesco read this.


‘A visitor’ left this comment on 8 Dec 04
I stopped shopping in Testos donkey’s years ago – realising back then that they were the Great Satan of UK supermarkets. I’d always try to go to Sainsbury’s where I could – Waitrose even better.
As for Walmart – I refuse to shop there – despite knowing I could get low prices on anything from legumes to DVDs and books from a politically adjusted inventory. They are now even having these oh-so-obvious-bullshit-PR ads on TV saying how wonderful they are to their employees. When a company does that, they’ve already lost public support.


‘Pimme’ left this comment on 7 Dec 04
Exactly like Wal-Mart. (Read my entry from yesterday about Wal-Mart).

Visit me @ http://pimme.blog-city.com

‘Randall Bott’ left this comment on 7 Dec 04
Sounds like Walmart in the U.S. Make incredible profits but don’t pay decent wages or provide health care.
Visit me @ http://www.leastbest.blog-city.com