The UK grocery company based in Welvyn Garden City in Hertfordshire is one of the largest grocery and general retailer in the world: as per the most recent data, it’s the 5th largest retailer in the world per revenue. The company has stores in 12 countries and it is yet to further grow. Despite seemingly a recent chain Tesco has a way longer history than one would expect. Let’s take a look at it.
The multinational grocery company was founded by Jack Cohen and it was originally started up as a group of market stalls. The name TESCO originates from the first tea shipment that was officially received by Cohen’s company from T.E. Stockwell to the initials of which Cohen has added the first 2 letters of his last name. The first real TESCO store opened as early as in 1931 and the place of the store was in Burnt Oak, Barnett. Thanks to the success of the store, Cohen started to open up more stores and by 1939 there was over 100 TESCO grocery stores in the area of the British Kingdom. The basic idea behind TESCO was to sell good quality products for a lower price than the competence. Thanks to its large income a rapid expansion has started with culminated in TESCO buying up smaller to mid-range grocery store brands such as Hillard’s, Williamson’s or the William Low supermarket chain.
TESCO has become a multinational grocery and overall merchandise store from the early nineties and that’s also the time from when it has started to sell more merchandise above grocery products. It’s also the time when the first TESCO petrol stations and telecommunications systems have started to open up as part of the TESCO store. Also, the hypermarket chain has started its diversification in order for its products to appeal to a wider audience.
It’s the start of the TESCO Finest products as well. By around 2005 the number of TESCO stores have grown from to 2500.
The first TESCO opened in Scotland in 1994 and from 1995 TESCO has started to expand beyond the borders. The Clubcard system was started in the same year. The first US store was opened in 2001 and the company also obtained 31% stake in the US Grocery Works company. The next international stores opened in Poland (2002) and in Japan (2003).
The business model of Tesco includes the buying up of grocery store chains in diverse countries, then basically change the stores to their own. Store diversification:
Today, we can get to see multiple types of Tesco stores all across the world. The huge hypermarket chain decided to go this way, in order to make its stores more available to a wider range of buyers. While the large hypermarkets are generally located outside the city, the smaller Tesco Metro and One Stop stores have been specialized to handle those who live, work and commute throughout the city.
All in all, we can say that the company which has emerged as a number of stalls back in the day is a real success story.