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Tesco has totally lost its way

Interested to read in the news this morning about Tesco and how it has reported its first drop in half-year profits.

As a former Tesco employee (during my student days) I remember how the company celebrated (back in 1995) becoming the nations biggest supermarket.  Tesco were really excited they were at overtaking Sainsbury’s, who had held the title since about the turn of the century.

I remember all staff being taken in groups into the training room, praised, and asked how the store could be even better. There was a genuine buzz surrounding the company success and Tesco really valued and listened to its staff.

For about ten years Tesco carried on doing what it thought was right, but make the ultimate mistake of taking its eye off the competition, and not updating or cleaning its stores to a high standard.

The thing about Tesco these days, is it is dirty and ‘in your face’.

Last week I walked around the very store I used to work at, I felt compelled to buy deals I did not need.  Most staff look like they don’t want to be there, and the shop is out dated, and dirty.  This is a store that has had a recent refit!

If you look at Tesco today, it looks like recognised there is a recession on, and it emits ‘desperate’.  Sainsbury’s look elegant in recession, and lets be honest, we don’t want ‘recession’ rammed down our throats all day long.

Last night my wife, myself and our son took a trip down to Sainsbury’s in Colchester. Great shop, light, easy to navigate, and above all, clean. It is a 15 mile drive from our home to Sainsbury’s, Tesco is 1/2 a mile.  Enough said.

Mr Tesco, you need to:

  • Deep clean your shops today, they are all filthy, really really filthy. Get all your store managers to call all local cleaning companies and get them all in, overnight, and deep deep clean.
  • Stop your current store refresh programme.  It looks budget, it looks nasty, and it won’t do.  My local Tesco has had a refit and it has done nothing significant to improve the feel of the store. The shop is still dirty and the ‘wood effect’ trolley bays will look green, scummy and nasty in six months time.
  • Get rid of the nasty yellow end of aisle promotion shelving and be more elegant with your offers.
  • Paint the tatty exteriors of your older shops.
  • Start moving from the dated blue look to a more elegant black. If you style the bigger stores like Marks & Spencer you’ll be on to a winner.
  • Dump Clubcard, and print immediate savings vouchers at the end of a transaction for discounted next shop and discounted fuel.

The reason Tesco is failing is not because of its price, yet Tesco is obsessed with price.  The reason Tesco is failing is because it is a dirty shop that still looks to be stuck in a time warp, around 1995.

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