A bit of history
Tesco (TSCO) is a top-tier British grocery retailer with their head office based in Welwyn Garden City. The company was established in 1919 by Jack Cohen. The TESCO name has a story behind it. The founder, Jack Cohen purchased a big shipment of tea. He bought it from T.E. Stockwell. To give this tea a proper name, Jack added the initial letters of his own surname. That’s how TESCO was born and the world-known brand name was coined.
Today, TESCO is one of the largest retail stores in the world. The company is represented across European and Asian countries, with a large market share in Ireland, Hungary, and the UK.
TESCO boasts a diversified portfolio of products. It sells software, books, internet and phone services, electronics, clothing, toys, furniture, petrol and financial services. In the mid 1990s TESCO underwent a major re-branding; the company switched from being a low-cost retailer to including more valued and high-profile items in their product portfolio.
These changes had a positive impact on the company’s market position. Within fifteen years the chain grew from 500 stores to 2,500 stores.
The rapid growth happened between the 1950s and the 1960s. Back then TESCO bought 70 Williamson’s stores, 200 Harrow Stores outlets, and 212 Irwin’s stores.
In 1987, the company bought the Hillards chain. The 1990s is was a decade of milestones as well. In 1994, TESCO took over the William Low chain. Later, in 1997, the company teamed up with Associated British Foods.
Today TESCO operates the following store types:
Extras. Big hypermarkets located usually out of town.
Superstores. Large supermarkets, fewer non-food goods compared to Extras.
Metros. Middle-sized stores based in city centres.
Express. Convenience stores spread across local neighbourhoods.
Tesco Petrol Stations.
The UK retail market is very competitive due to strong industry players. The main competitors are:
Grocery Multiples. The most serious competitor. The chain holds almost 85% of the market Tesco operates in.
Asda. The chain is very similar to TESCO. The main difference is that Asda is a bit cheaper.
Sainsbury’s. Akin to TESCO, but a more expensive one.
Morrisons. Similar to Asda, but has a very distinct specialisation – vegetables and fresh meat.
The company has a few subsidiaries represented in the UK and abroad.
Tesco Bank Tesco delivers financial services that include loans, credit cards, mortgages, insurance, and savings accounts.
Telecoms The mobile business within the TESCO brand reaches out to the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Ireland, and the UK.
Tesco (TSCO) shares are traded on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and constitute the FTSE 100 market index, often referred to as Footsie.