TESCO in 2003

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Case Details:

Case Code : BSTA085
Case Length : 16 Pages
Period : 2003
Organization : Tesco
Pub Date : 2003
Teaching Note :Not Available
Countries : UK, Global
Industry : Retailing

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Despite the gloom that has descended over some of online shopping's best and brightest, there is one big "e-tailer" whose star shines more fiercely than ever. The surprise is that this is no Silicon Valley digital hotshot, but a dull old British grocer.

- The Economist, February 2000.

Many retailers have tried and failed to establish themselves outside their home markets. Likewise, some retailers have gone astray trying to exploit Internet shopping. As a result, Tesco, the United Kingdom's biggest grocer, has attracted considerable attention because of its ambitious overseas strategy and its successful on-line home delivery service.

- Mckinsey Quarterly, 20021


Tesco, the UK's leading grocery chain, was also the biggest online grocer in the world. In early 2003, the company had 2,291 stores in 10 countries and employed 296,000 people.

Tesco had attracted huge attention at a time when retailers had failed to establish themselves outside their home markets and struggled in their online forays. In 2002, Tesco was the ninth largest retailer2 in the world and third most globalized retail giant (along with Wal-Mart) after Ahold and Carrefour.

Relying on sales of non-food items (clothing, healthcare, music, financial services, etc.) and on international sales particularly in emerging markets, Tesco had emerged as one of the fastest growing retailers in the world...

Excerpts >>

1] Peter N. Child, "Taking Tesco global," McKinsey Quarterly, 2002, Number 3.

2] World's 100 Largest Retailers ranked by sales in December 2002, www.chainstoreage.com


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