Tesco should have met my old boss

Macclesfield Express - - BARLOW’S BRIEF -

I HAD a very wise boss in my first job who con­sid­ered it his duty to ed­u­cate ju­nior staff in the ways of the world.

“Never kick any­one on your way up the lad­der,” he told us. “You may need them on your way down.”

I’ve thought about him a lot this week after hear­ing that Tesco’s trad­ing re­sults are forc­ing the company to close stores and pull out of planned ex­pan­sion.

This has to be a les­son for coun­cils through­out the UK who have seen long-stand­ing lo­cal traders go out of business as Tesco marched across the coun­try, dom­i­nat­ing towns.

Has it been all bad? Of course not, Tesco trans­formed gro­cery shop­ping, low­ered prices and em­ployed thou­sands of lo­cal peo­ple.

They didn’t court pub­lic opin­ion. Tesco didn’t con­sider it nec­es­sary. ‘Our cus­tomers vote with their feet’ they pro­claimed as their sales in­creased ex­po­nen­tially. That maxim proved all too ac­cu­rate when world food prices rock­eted and cus­tomers went in search of cheaper al­ter­na­tives.

Sud­denly cut-price re­tail­ers be­came the flavour of the day, cre­at­ing a seis­mic shift in buy­ing pat­terns.

Coun­cils across the coun­try are now left with the prob­lem of what to do with the empty spa­ces that were to be new Tesco de­vel­op­ments and com­mu­ni­ties with­out lo­cal shops.

Good­will is some­thing you can’t buy and ev­ery lit­tle helps. Pity Tesco never met my old boss.

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