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Supermarket bad behaviour

Anyone who read my Supermarkets post will realise that I am no great lover of the behemoths. But after reading an article (You’ve been Tesco’d) in Issue 1244 of Private Eye, I’m even more anti.

It appears Tesco may be falsely claiming demand and support for new stores. A man in Leeds received a letter acknowledging his support for a new store from the city council: he hadn’t taken sides let alone sent a letter, and his named was misspelled. Tesco have built a new store in Cambridge adding to traffic problems while the council spends £400,000 on traffic calming.

You may be interested to read about Hadleigh, where Tesco have been trying to build a supermarket for 10 years despite public enquiries, rejected applications, environmental issues and huge local protest.

Currently there is a battle in Newcastle Emlyn, a town of approximately 1000 inhabitants, to build 2 new supermarkets when they already have one, albeit a sole trader. Does that really sound sensible? It is a small town with a thriving local shopping community. As one town visitor comments: “We come to spend time here because it’s a proper town – not a clonesville. No major supermarket in sight.”

You can read more about these and more on Tescopoly. Other major supermarkets destroying local shops and businesses, paying poor wages to suppliers and manufacturers, having negative environmental costs, propping up poor animal welfare standards, and flooding our homes with poor-quality, poor-health, homogenic products do exist. Their names are Asda/Walmart, Morrisons, Lidl, Aldi, Sainsbury’s…and even Coop is heading that way.



So Tesco has published their pre-tax profits, at £3.13 billion this year. Sales are topping £1 billion per week. They are the UK’s biggest retailer and the third biggest in the world. There is an outlet in every postcode in the UK (taken from BBC website – I assume this means the two letters).

I went to Tesco on Good Friday. It was horrible. I thought the idea of supermarkets was to make shopping easier? Instead you have to walk about a mile into the shop before you even reach food, because they’ve got TVs and toys and clothes to sell to you as soon as you walk through the door. And what shop doesn’t have an escalator these days? Everyone is so hacked off by the time they reach the food that everyone’s got trolley rage and absolutely no patience for any other shoppers.

So congratulations supermarkets. You’ve successfully managed to continue reaping ridiculous profits while your customers get stressed out and angry with each other. Not to mention all the smaller shops you’ve priced out of the market. Then there’s all the former green space until you came along and turned it into grey space. And let’s not forget all your suppliers: people getting paid pittence for making the clothes you sell or growing the coffee you sell. And the animals brought into the world only as a commodity, living in cramped conditions and fed growth hormones, until their put out of their misery and end up on your shelves.

It’s time to stop shopping in supermarkets. For me at least. Their charity donations just aren’t sufficient when the business they do is part of the problem. Local, cooperative, fair trade and organic from now on.