1 Tesco = 1/13th of UK Government’s debt
Friday, April 23rd, 2010
When Jack Cohen set up his barrow stall to sell surplus groceries in the East End of London in 1919, he might not have believed that a new unit of measurement would be coined ninety years later. The ‘Tesco’ is equivalent to £40billion. Or to put it another way, Tescos is now worth 1/24th of the UK’s GDP. Jack Cohen’s business motto was “pile it high and sell it cheap”, although this was quickly replaced with the saying “You Can’t Do Business Sitting On Your Arse”. He distributed items bearing the acronym “YCDBSOYA” to his sales force. Add the square footage of their UK stores together and Tescos is larger than the State of Monaco.
An interesting report from the BBC on the sheer scale of Tescos. Some good local news. Despite receiving planning permission they decided not to proceed with a store (on stilts) in Glastonbury, where many small local retailers thrive. We have an excellent butcher, baker, delicatessen, a lively weekly market and a whole-food store that has taken over the old Woolworths store. Exactly the sort of retail environment that Jack Cohen would have been familiar with in 1919. Long may it continue.