Sunday, 10 February 2019

British business typified by Tesco!

The reputation of British business, already at rock-bottom with its recent history of obscene pay awards, bonuses attached to short-term profits and share values,, tax avoidance, zero-hours contracts for many workers not even being paid a living wage, and lack of investment leading to low productivity, has been done no favours by Tesco`s most recent announcement (Threat to 9,000 jobs as fresh food counters shut, 29/01/19). Introducing yet more so-called "efficiency" cuts, putting "up to 9,000 staff jobs at risk", is a typical short-termist and unimaginative response by a CEO determined, as Nils Pratley says, to "keep the profit margin promises he made to the City" (Business view, 29/01/19).
     Rather than reduce Tesco`s "points of differentiation" with its rivals by closing fresh food counters, it makes far more sense for a major supermarket to be cashing in on the current trends for healthier eating and vegan-style diets. With profits at well over £1bn a year, some nutritious loss-leaders which improve health, could be offered, demonstrating how cheap, but nevertheless still wholesome, lunches and evening meals can be. Selling all the ingredients needed at the same counter could work, as could providing a different reduced-price meal every day. Reducing prices of healthier foods like fresh fish and local vegetables whilst promoting itself as the "healthy" supermarket appears a more sensible management decision for Tesco than abandoning its upmarket appeal
   Trying to defeat Aldi and Lidl at their own game is never going to work; having a management clearly out of touch with customers can only end badly! Tesco is missing out on a wonderful opportunity to improve the health of the nation, as its rivals would be shamed into copying for fear of becoming the unhealthy option!

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