Essay On Parliamentary Sovereignty

Tesco was founded in 1924 by John Edward Cohen in the East End of London. The name ‘Tesco’, was first used on tea, and was derived from the initials of Cohen’s tea supplier, T E Stockwell, combined with the first two letters of Cohen. Tesco Stores Limited was incorporated in 1932. In 1935, Jack Cohen visited the U S A and was impressed by the supermarkets’ self-service system which enabled more people to be served faster, with lower labour costs. In 1947, the Tesco branch in St Albans, a small shop by 21st century standards (200 square metres) was the first Tesco to be converted to self service, although it didn’t immediately catch the public’s imagination. See appendix 1 for details.

Tesco’s Mission Statement

Tesco’s mission statement is to Retain Loyal People. To make sure Tesco achieve their mission statement, they need to know who their loyal customers are. That is why Tesco has got a club card service, through which they can award people by giving them special vouchers and extra points.


A business aim is an organisation’s long-term goal.

In 2005, the two core values of Tesco are: No-one tries harder for customers and Treat people as we like to be treated.

In 2006, Tesco’s mission and vision shows that this company is really for quality service and values their customers:

·         Be the leader in Quality Service provided to everyone in the retailing industry

·         Understand the needs of their client and respond with urgency.

·         Meet customer’s demands and exceeds their expectations

·         Maintain highly trained and motivated employees.

·         Continuously improve their skills, service and achieve excellence in all of the company’s endeavours.



Objectives are goals that a firm sets itself for the next three or five years. They have a timescale, they must be measurable and they must contribute to the business achieving its aims. The core objective of Tesco is to establish value for customers in order to gain their lifetime loyalty. Tesco’s success depends on their valued customers. These customers shop and work with the company. Tesco’s principle is, if the customer likes what they offer, surely these people will come back and purchase again.

Industry Stage Life Cycle

The stage life cycle of the retail industry is no doubt to be mature because of the profits they are gaining every year. The retail industry’s profit is increasing and profiting from their cash cows. Tesco is the largest UK retailer and the 3rd largest global retailer. Tesco controlled 30.8% of the UK grocery market as of May 2009 and ~9% of the UK non-food retail market. The majority of its sales and profits are generated in its 2,282 UK stores, which are segmented into the following formats:

Tesco Express – neighbourhood convenience store that focuses on fresh products, 961 stores

Tesco Metro – city centre convenience store,174 stores

Tesco Superstore – conventional supermarket, 448 stores

Tesco Extra – hypermarket that serves an entire community, 177 stores

Tesco Homeplus and One-Stop account for its remaining stores

The company also sells general merchandise through Tesco Direct, its online and catalogue businesses.

Tesco’s management focuses on customer satisfaction by giving customers more choices where to shop and by offering them attractive prices on its products. In the fourth quarter of 2008, Tesco began selling new discount range of products to compete more aggressively on price against discounters. Its prices are generally perceived to be at a small premium to Asda and a small discount to Sainsbury and Morrison.

Tesco’s primary supermarket competitors in the UK include Asda (17.3% share of UK grocery market), Sainsbury (16.3% share), WM Morrison Supermarkets (11.2% share), Waitrose (3.7% share), Aldi (2.9% share) and Lidl (2.3% share). In recent years, some of its major competitors have turned around their struggling stores, which will make it more challenging for Tesco to gain significant share in the UK market going forward.

Tesco uses its customer information to target and segment communications to the millions of its loyalty program members by almost infinite demographic, purchase, and lifestyle profiles. Several hundred million in-store purchases per day are being tracked by the loyalty-card program. The company developed 5,000 customer “needs” segments, with each segment receiving personalized coupons. Source:

Income Statement Summary

– Sources: Companies,

Tesco’s UK sales grew 4.3% last year (3% ex gasoline) and its net new stores contributed 2.7% to growth. Its UK sales also benefited from a 53rd week that represented 2.1% of sales and the first time contribution from the consolidation of Tesco Personal Finance.

International sales grew 30.6% (including FX benefits) and 13.6% at constant exchange rates benefiting from square footage growth and strong sales growth in Asia.

The company’s operating margin was flat at 5.9% in fiscal 2009 as unfavourable sales mix was offset by increased productivity and good expense control. Its EPS growth was only 2.6% last year, hurt by 26.7% tax rate vs. 24% in fiscal 2008 when it benefited from tax reimbursement and lower UK corporate tax rate.


The organisations of choice are within the Retails sector – TESCO and ASDA as the elective firm both are UK based companies.

1.1 Tesco objectives blend in with each other

All of Tesco’s objectives blend in with each other. None of the objectives will work without each other. For example; the business will not have any customers if the business is not operating well.

Share holders will not invest money in the business, if the business hasn’t got any customers. The company will not be able to afford to have any employees working for them if they haven’t got money being invested in the business.

1.2. Stakeholders

Tesco Stakeholders are a certain group of people that have an interest in Tesco group businesses. Each group have their own interests in the business. The service-profit chain attempts to show the interrelationship of a company’s internal and external communities, stakeholders and highlights how customer loyalty that translates into revenue growth and profits might be achieved; developed by Heskett et al. (1994). It does this by establishing relationships between profitability, customer loyalty, stakeholders and employees satisfaction.

Tesco has many stakeholders. They are as follows:

* Shareholders * Customers

* Employees * Government and Non-Governmental

* Local Community * Suppliers

* Financials * Pressure Groups


Generally a customer wants quality goods at a low cost. They would also want a variety of products to choose from. All customers want these things and by Tesco providing them Tesco will attract more customers because of people talking about it (Word-of-Mouth). Tesco like most business’ need their customers because they are the business’ income as the customers are the people who buy Tesco’s products.

Tesco staffs hear customers’ views on everything from how we are serving them in our stores to our role in the community. The customers are a bit like a pressure group because they apply pressure to Tesco to meet their needs. Meeting the customer’s needs can be things such as expanding their stores.


Tesco employees give management their feedback through the Viewpoint staff survey, Staff Question Time sessions and Tesco Staff Forum process.


Tesco group core value is “treat people how we like to be treated”, and it’s something Tesco organisation applied firmly to enhance their supplier’s relationships.


Capital Investor Relations team regularly meet analysts from the financial institutions which invest in Tesco group or represent their shareholders.

All the above defined stakeholders are Tesco group influencers. They affect the outcome of the decision making process through their influence on others. Influence could stem formally from expertise, such as the advice of an accountant on return on investment.

2. Nature of the Retail (Tesco) Marketing Environment

The definition that the module assignment work with is that Tesco organisation’s marketing environment is made up of those forces that lie outside the Tesco group – organisation and that exert some degree of influence upon the ways in which marketing management develops relationship with the firm’s target markets.

Two distinct components within Tesco environment are: Micro-environment and the macro-environment. See figure 1 below.

Social and cultural factors






Technological changes

Supply chain








Figure 1. The Tesco Organisation’s marketing environment

It is recognised that regardless of which approach Tesco group adopts; the environment is a significant determinant both of strategy and organisational performance. Baker (1985, pg. 85) described it as “the ultimate constraint upon the firm’s strategy”; Drucker (1969), referred to the environment of the 1960 and 1970s as “age of discontinuity”; and Toffler (1970, pg. 28), who look ahead, referred to it as a time of “future shock”.


The marketing audit is really the launching pad for the Tesco marking plan, because it encourages Tesco management to reflect systematically on the environment and the organisation’s ability to respond, given its actual and planned capabilities.

Similar to financial audit, marketing audit is first and critical about developing a shared, agreed and objective understanding of Tesco organisation.

The audit is has suggested by McDonald (1995, p.28):

“The means by which a company can identify its own strengths and weakness as they relate to external opportunities and threats; It is thus a way of helping management to select a position in that environment based on known factors.”

Three major elements and potential benefits of the marketing audit can be seen to be:

The detailed analysis of the external environment and internal situation

The objective evaluation of past performance and present activities.

The clearer identification of future opportunities and threats.

These three above factors can be viewed against the background of comments made by Ansoff (1968 & 1984), who has suggested that “irrespective of the size of the organisation, corporate decisions have to be made within the constraint of a limited total resource”.

Marketing audit have a place the overall management audit that incorporate financial audit together with audits of other functional areas as illustrated in figure 2 below.

Marketing audit in terms of structure consists of three major and detailed diagnostic steps. That involved a review of: Tesco organisation’s environment (opportunities and threats) – designed to establish the various dimensions of the marketing environment, change and probable impact of these change upon the organisation; its marketing systems (strengths and weakness) – an assessment of the extent to which Tesco’s marketing systems are capable of dealing with the demands of the environment and its marketing activities – review of the individual components of the marketing mix.

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There are the environmental variables and operational variables with distinction in terms of the macro-environmental forces (political / legal, economic / demographic, social / cultural, and technological) that affect the business. Micro-environmental actors (customers, competitors, distributors and suppliers) who subsequently influence Tesco organisation’s ability to operate profitably in the market-place

Macro environment is the most general external audit of the environment, that consist of broad environmental factors, aimed at identifying key variable that offer actionable responses that would benefit Tesco and threats that must be avoided. These key external forces can be divided into five broad categories.

Economic forces

Social, Cultural, Demographic and Environmental forces

Political, Governmental and Legal forces

Technological forces

Competitive Force



Personnel audit

Production audit


Management audit

Marketing audit

EXTERNAL (Opportunities and threats) – Macro

The business and economic environments (political, economic, social/cultural, technological, legal and environmental factors – PESTLE)



INTERNAL (Strengths and weaknesses) – Micro

Organisational performance and structure

Operations and resources

Marketing objectives

Marketing strategy

Information systems

Planning systems

Control systems

Functional efficiency

Inter-functional efficiency

Profitability analysis

Cost-effective analysis

Figure 2. The place of the marketing audit in the overall management audit

2.2. SWOT Analysis

The strengths and weaknesses of a SWOT analysis focus on the current market position of Tesco in retails business in relation to it’s:

Customers – is the business meeting the needs of its target markets

Competitors- is the business offering a better way of meeting customer needs compared with its competitors

Internal resources- is the business making effective use of its internal resources to meet customer needs and deal with competition

The opportunities and threats of a SWOT analysis focus on the future market position of Tesco in retails business.

Tesco organisation used their strengths and limits the weaknesses to plan for future development, marketing strategies and activities.

Tesco’s opportunities and threats grew out of objectives, consideration of the real strengths and weaknesses of their business.

Specific information were collated (such as data captured and analysed from CRM programs) before the process begins and personnel working to a joint solutions, adopted a truly objective positioning for the processes to be successful and worthwhile.

2.2.1. The main purpose of a SWOT analysis:

Identify market opportunities

To avoid complacency about market position – a self evaluating organization

As a safety check before embarking on major new project

As a response to change – change of director might initiate a SWOT analysis to gauge the strength of the team.

There is no set procedure for carrying out a SWOT analysis but care must be taken to identify weaknesses if the process is to serve its purpose. A weakness may purely be lack of information, or lack of suitably qualified staff.

SWOT analysis of TESCO



To provide high level customer service

Presence in multiple retail markets

For Tesco to create unique products

Increasing market share

Wide knowledge of retail industry

Competent top management and rank & file for operation and maintenance

Existing customer base

Financial investment backing.

Strong IT returns through internet shopping

Good advertising

Used iconic models to attract core target group.

Tesco Online

Brand value


Secured commercial standing within the global market place winning Retailer of the Year 2008 at the “World Retail Awards”. This can be used for marketing campaigns to drive advantage towards the demographic base for future growth and sustainability

Product diversification – home and furniture

Turnaround in sales and growth

As a business looking for continued expansion TESCO have reserve funds of credit coupled with income derived from property portfolio development funds.

In an environment where global retail sales are showing decline or level performance on a like for like basis TESCO Group have published sales gain of 13% for UK markets and 26% growth in international markets.

As a business looking for continued expansion TESCO have reserve funds of credit coupled with income derived from property portfolio development funds.

Tesco’s position as a price leader in UK markets can lead to reduced profit margins in order to retain the key price points on must have commercial items.

Grocer outlets are not set up to operate as specialist retailers in specific areas of product which can be capitalised on by other smaller bespoke retailers.

Low supervision on international market

Considerably late exploitation of the Internet.

Whilst current economic conditions suggest Tesco’s key value message will succeed there is a weakness in non-essential, mid to high ticket price items which will suffer from the rising cost of living and lower disposable incomes.

Reliance upon the UK market

Comparing Tesco with British Airways might get you thinking about how dependent Tesco is on the UK market (73.8% of 2003 revenues.)

Comparing Tesco with Amazon might reveal flaws in its attempts to move into new markets.

TESCO Finance profit levels were impacted through bad debt, credit card arrears and household insurance claims.

Grocer outlets are not set up to operate as specialist retailers in specific areas of product which can be capitalised on by other smaller bespoke retailers



Statistics suggest TESCO is the third largest global grocer which indicates a level of buying power to ensure mainstream economies of scale.

Further international growth

Expansion of target market

Healthy market environment

Increasing detraction of small retail businesses in UK

Use younger more contemporary models to attract younger generation.

The acquisition of Homever provides the opportunity to develop the brand through Asia, specifically South Korea and further grow International markets for the group.

The development of Tesco Direct through online and catalogue shopping will grow the use of technology, providing the launch pad for larger non food based products with moderate to high margin returns and less focus on sales and margin per foot return to space.

TESCO mobile have grown ¼ million customers in 2008 and moved into profitable status suggesting further growth and development within this technological area can be developed.

Tesco Homeplus stores offer all of Tesco’s ranges except food in warehouse-style units in retail parks.

Introducing wider ranges such as Tesco (Value, Brand, Finest, Wholefoods, Bakery & Kids), Healthy Living, Organic, Best Of British, World Foods, Cherokee, Free From, Tesco Christmas, Tesco’s own clothing label – F+F to mention few

Other services – e.g. banking, insurance, savings to mention few.

UK structural change could spark a price war

Rising raw material costs from both food and non food will impact profit margins overall

International expansion

Economic restructuring

Intensified competition

Government regulation

UK and American markets have been affected by economic concerns through the “credit crunch”. Lower available income will impact and strategic focus may need to change to lower priced basic products with less focus on higher priced brands suggesting a switch in price architecture.

Sourcing changes to Far East locations with regards exporting restrictions on some non food product areas will reduce margin rates on products with already low margins.

Changes to consumer buying behaviours require further analysis – as technology develops consumer buying patterns change which will result in product areas requiring evaluation.

For TESCO there is a persistent threat of takeover from the market leader Wal-Mart who has both means and motive to pursue such action.

Lower available income will impact and strategic focus may need to change to lower priced basic products with less focus on higher priced brands suggesting a switch in price architecture.

Overconfident of Tesco management

Figure. 3. Tesco Micro and Macro-Environmental SWOT analysis

3. Tesco’s Strategic Options

3.1. Generic Strategies

Generic Strategies are characterised by an individual retailer’s response to the industry structure. For a giant retailer, such as Tesco, to obtain a sustainable competitive advantage they may have followed either one of three generic strategies, developed by Porter (1985).

The first strategy of cost leadership is one in which Tesco can strive to have the lowest costs in the industry and offer its products and services to a broad market at the lowest prices. This strategy will be based on the Tesco’s ability to control their operating costs so well that they are able to price their products competitively and be able to generate high profit margins, thus having a significant competitive advantage.

Tesco used another strategy of differentiation that it has to try to offer services and products with unique features that customers’ value; Tesco was able to create brand loyalty for their offerings, and thus, price inelasticity on the part of buyers. Tesco’s breadths of product offerings, technology, special features, or customer service are popular approaches to differentiation

The last strategy of focus can be either a cost leadership or differentiation strategy aimed toward a narrow, focused market. In pursuing a cost leadership strategy Tesco focuses on the creation of internal efficiencies that will help them withstand external pressures. Therefore, it appears reasonable to think that Tesco will have frequent interactions with the governmental/regulatory and supplier sectors of the environment. In accordance to this framework, while both overall cost leadership and differentiation strategies are aimed at the broad market, Tesco may also choose to confine their product to specific market areas or may choose to offer a smaller line of products to the broad market, thus pursuing a strategy of focus or niche (Porter, 1980). In other words, Tesco pursues a strategy of cost leadership or differentiation either in a specific market or with specific products.

3.2. Core Competence and Corporate strategy

Superior performance, according to Johnson and Scholes (2003), has to be determined by the way in which company’s resources are deployed to create competence in the organisational activities. Core competencies are activities or processes that critically underpin the company’s competitive advantage. Core competences may be embedded deep in Tesco at an operational level in the work routines. The framework developed by Prahalad and Hamel in the 1990s suggests that over time companies may develop key areas of expertise which are distinctive to that company and critical to the company’s long term growth (Drejer, 2000; De Toni, and Tonchia, 2003). In the case of Tesco the areas of expertise are most likely to develop in the critical, central areas of the organisation where the most value is added to its service and its delivery

The phrase used by Tesco to describe its aspiration to appeal to upper, medium and low income customers is “inclusive offer” in the same stores. Tesco pulled off an idea that other retailers were not aware. That appealed to all segments of the market”.

One plank of this inclusively has been Tesco’s use of its own-brand products, including the upmarket “Finest” and low-price “Value”.

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Tesco implemented CRM programme launched the Clubcard rewards program to gather necessary customer information, which it then used to cater to specific customer needs and potential wants. When shoppers signed up for the card, they automatically submitted their age, gender, and income. Tesco was able to segment their shoppers based on these factors. As soon as the shopper used the card when shopping online or in-store, purchased product information was automatically uploaded into Tesco database. Product information was used to cross-sell additional products and services such as grocery delivery services.

Beginning in 1997 when Terry Leahy took over as CEO, Tesco began marketing itself using the phrase “The Tesco Way” to describe the company’s core purposes, values, principles, and goals This phrase became the standard marketing speak for Tesco as it expanded domestically and internationally under Leahy’s leadership, implying a shift by the company to focus on people, both customers and employees.

3.3. Partnership with Tesco

Tesco respond to changes in marketing by partnering with other businesses; Tesco then added a travel service through a partnership with Lunn Poly, giving discounts off high-street prices.

It also combined its card with Visa through the Royal Bank of Scotland, and offered discounts on DIY goods through well-known home improvement chain B&Q.

In 1997 it added a full range of financial services, and the Tesco Direct service. Adding value was mandatory to these functional items so, for example, expectant mothers were given priority parking outside the store, changing facilities, and personal shopping assistants to help them.

In 1998, after the U.K.’s deregulation of utilities, Tesco began to offer electricity and telecommunications products and services. Also in that year, clothing was added to the range through Next.

By this time, Tesco had identified 108 customer market segments. This year, 2000, a joint undertaking with General Motors allows customers to buy cars from Tesco.

3.4. Enhancing Quality

Everyday, top managers of Tesco stores gather for an hour-and-a-half customer advocacy meeting to pore over that week’s performance statistics. “…a strategy which is concerned with changing the fundamental beliefs, values and culture of an organisation, harnessing the enthusiasm and participation of everyone….towards an overall idea of “right first time”” by Atkinson and Naden (1989, pg 6). What makes this unusual is that every performance measure under scrutiny relates to customer satisfaction, and this meeting is the most important one on the corporate schedule. See Appendix 2 for On-Time-Delivery Tesco competitive strategy.

4. Industry Attractiveness 

Inherent within the notion of strategy is the issue of competitiveness, analyzing industry attractiveness, and Porter’s (1979) five forces model is used. The attractiveness of the retail industry depends on the situation of competition. The competition in the retail industry is based on its economic structure Porter’s Five Forces Model implies that business are being influenced by five forces namely supplier power, threat of substitutes, buyer power, barriers to entry and rivalry. This model also implies that business must be able to understand the industry context in which they operate.

4.1. Porter five forces analysis:

A Porter’s five forces analysis can complement other techniques, like a SWOT analysis. A SWOT analysis focuses on the company, while a Porter’s five forces analysis looks at the external factors impacting on a company Porter’s five forces framework as shown in figure 4, helps identify the sources of competition in the retail sector, and as a way of assessing the attractiveness that profit Tesco’s retails market. The underlying force in the macro-environment driven competitive forces are:-

The bargaining power of supplier

The bargaining power of buyers

The threat of potential new entrants

The threat of substitutes

The extent of competitive rivalry

The above five forces are not independent of each other, connection between competitive forces and the key driver in macro-environment is essential. Pressures from one direction can trigger off changes in another in a dynamic process of shifting sources of competition.



Rivalry among

Existing firms






Bargaining power

of suppliers

Bargaining power

of buyers

Threat of

substitude products

or services

Threat of

new entrants

Figure 4, Porter’s Five Forces Model

The objectives of such an analysis investigated how Tesco organisation formed its strategy in other to develop opportunities and protect itself against competition and other threats. This must be done in order to better design the strategy that the business will use to be able to compete with rivals within the same industry. It is important for businesses to determine the level of competition present within the industry. This will allow them to address potential risks before they even strike.

4.2. Cost advantage and differentiation

According to Baker (1985), a business positions itself based on its strengths and strength are categorized into two – cost advantage and differentiation. Furthermore, when these strengths are applied in either a narrow or a broad sense, it will result to three generic strategies – focus, differentiation and cost leadership strategy.

Cost leadership strategy means that the company is the low cost producer or provider of a certain quality item in a given industry. This kind of strategy is being implemented for two reasons and achieved through two ways. The first method and reason is to sale items at average industry price so that the company will be able to be more profitable compared to rivals. The second method and reason is to sale the products at below average industry price in order to gain market share. According to Baker (1985), a company that has the ability to produce or offer less costly products will be able to remain profitable for a longer period. It is important to note that this strategy targets a broad market.


4.3. BCG Matrix

Tesco can be considered as a cash cow because it distributes quality and extra services to its consumers and equipped with new innovative products and services in United Kingdom. At the same time the company can also be considered as Stars because they put a lot of efforts to increase the awareness of their consumers to the benefits of e-commerce and retailing

5. Market Objectives and Strategies Implementation

Strategy frameworks and structuring tools are keys to assessing the business situation. Risk and value trade-offs are made explicit, leading to concrete proposals to add value and reduce risk. Explicit plans for action, including effective planning need to be developed by Tesco as the strategic alternative. Piercy and Morgan (1990, pg. 2) state: “In short, the …..reality the marketing executive faces is that implementing plans and strategies successfully is often dependent on managers and employees who are far removed from the excitement of creating new marketing strategies…and so on”

From the generic strategies discussed above, Tesco is likely to employ two strategic options that are also likely to be primary market objectives of focus on market development though partnerships and diversification through new product development.

5.1. Change

The only permanent thing is change. Everyday in the retail industry and in global grocery markets, change is very rapid.  Tesco in UK is beating the heat in food markets, struggling for growth, even if sometimes ageing population are declining; demographic profile is always growth-oriented and optimistic.

According to Humby (2003), e-retailer use what he describes as a ‘commitment-based segmentation’ or ‘loyalty ladder’ which is based on recency of purchase, frequency of purchase and value which is used to identify 6 lifecycle categories which are then further divided to target communications:






“Logged-off” (the aim here is to winback)

Tesco then use automated event-triggered messaging can be created to encourage continued purchase. For example, have a touch strategy which includes a sequence of follow-up communications triggered after different events in the customer lifecycle. In the example given below, communications after event 1 are intended to achieve the objective of converting a web site visitor to action; communications after event 2 are intended to move the customer from a first time purchaser to a regular purchaser and for event 3 to reactivate lapsed purchasers.

5.2. CRM Program Benefits

Tesco, the giant and most successful supermarket chain in the U.K., has a CRM system that is the envy of many. Tesco found, while looking at its customer base for a typical retail outlet that the top 100 customers were worth the same as the bottom 4,000. It also found that the bottom 25% of customers represented only 2% of sales, and that the top 5% of customers were responsible for 20% of sales. Like many other companies that have embarked on CRM programs, Tesco realized that all customers are not equal and Tesco now measures valuable customers by the frequency of purchase and value of expenditure. Hunter (1997) argued that “marketing success needs to be based on the development of a loyal customer base, ensuring product and……… be rethought.”

When Tesco says, “Every little helps”, it really means it. Its CRM program is certainly one of the best in the world, and customers love it. Tesco has been principally a food retailer in the U.K., in a mature market that has grown little in the last 20 years or so.

That Tesco has grown its business at all is a testament to consumer attraction, when the only route to growth is taking market share from competitors. Its CRM program started with the Clubcard in 1995, offering points on purchases and giving a small rebate to loyal shoppers. Dismissing the initiative as nothing new, competitors did not realize that Tesco was capturing valuable information with every swipe of the card and building a powerful database of customers, which it gained through card membership information.

The card provided Tesco with vital customer information such as what products they were and were not buying, where they were spending their time in the store, and where they were not, as measured by spending. Customers received vouchers for items they liked to buy and offers to explore parts of the store that they had not yet seen. Different lifestyle magazines were created for different customers, and high-value customers got calls from the manager of the store, valet parking when they came to shop, and other special privileges.

In 1996 Tesco created a student card and another card for mothers, with offers suited to their needs.

5.3. Market Development Strategy:

Joint Developments and Strategic Alliances by entering new markets like China and Japan it can serve as a key growth driver of the company’s revenues and expansion strategy. Tesco’s interests in Japan are likely to continue growing in due course, as Asian markets are showing an increase in consumer spending and increased trend towards retailing. Competing for industry (Asia market) foresight by identifying how the market will or can be encouraged to develop. “The trick” by Hamel and Prahalad (1994, pg.73) suggest, “Is to see the future before it arrives”. These new markets are also demographically high opportunity markets.

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5.4. Strategic Option

One of the suggested strategic options for Tesco is in international alliances with the local retailers in Asian markets. It is considered as a method of development and may be formed to exploit current resources and competence. By entering into joint ventures or partnerships, in order to gain a larger economy of scale and larger market presence; Tesco drew on the extensive local knowledge and operating expertise of the partner whilst added its own supply chain, product development and stores operations skills to deliver a better shopping experience to customers.

The success of the partnership will be related to three main success criteria: sustainability, acceptability and feasibility. Sustainability is concerned with whether a strategy addresses the circumstances in which the company is operating. It is about the rationale of this expansion-market development strategy. The acceptability relates to the expected return from the strategy, the level of risk and the likely reaction of stakeholders. Feasibility is regarded to whether Tesco has the resources and competence to deliver the strategy.


ASDA is choosing as an elective to Tesco both in retails sector and competitors. See Appendix 3 for more details.

6.1. Differences between TESCO and ASDA:


Targeted Customers: The customers Asda targets are different from Tesco as those who shop in Asda are “one-stop shoppers” who are buying in bulk and are looking for very low prices with good value at the same time in both food and the clothing range, George.

Marketing Activities Their catchphrase “That’s Asda Price” is very catchy and attracts the viewers’ attention when advertised on television and is popular with customers.

Public Relations Asda, like


Targeted Customers: The customers Tesco targets are broad (upper, medium and low income) range.

Marketing Activities: Tesco supported many upper, medium and low income customers is “inclusive offer”. When Tesco says, “Every little helps”, it really means it

Public Relations: Tesco supported many different charities; Computers for Schools campaign and it is now in its 13th year and has raised £84 M since it began. Over 2003 / 2004 Differences and contrasts between ASDA and Tesco is as shown in figure 5, below.

Tesco, support many different charities such as Tickled Pink the campaign which helps tackle Breast Cancer and is now in its 7th year of supporting the charity and raised £1million in 2002 as well as raising £1.2million for the BBC Children in Need Appeal in the same year.

Profit and Losses: Asda have cut prices by £0.5 billion in total and the sales growth in non-food items has risen by over 25% since Asda expanded their general merchandise range.

Products and Services Asda’s range of products and services goes above and beyond their food ranges like Tesco’s.

Pricing The same basketful of 100 products bought at Asda will cost 0.4% more at Tesco than it does at Asda, although on average Asda is the lowest. priced supermarket.

£7 million worth of equipment was given to schools, over 75,000 items such as digital cameras and 2,700 computers.

Profit and Loss Last year Tesco made total profits of Tesco’s total sales last year were £33.6 million, with 80% of this total being in the UK, 11% in Europe and 8% in Asia.

Products and Services Tesco’s product portfolio is very extensive. As well as their various food ranges, Tesco also sell clothes in a range called Value the same as the food range.

Pricing An average shop of over 100 products at Tesco costs £167.84 which is 0.4% less than Asda. Tesco recently took over as the lowest priced supermarket from Asda for the first time in seven years. Tesco has made an average of 2.7% in price cuts; this is a total of £130 million price cuts

on average Asda is the lowest. priced supermarket.

in recent years.

Figure 5. Differences and contrasts between ASDA and TESCO

Other differences that emerged from latest product and services launched in 2009 are: (source: www. see appendix 2 for details.

Tesco: coming to a village near you.

Tesco opens ‘Tesco Outlet’ store on eBay.

Tesco moves into broadband and phone bundles.

Asda Direct steps up competition with Argos and Tesco Direct.

Asda explains its bold attempt to involve customers in decision-making.

Asda launches LazyTown microsite to promote GreatStuff range.

Asda launches Asian clothing line under George fashion brand.

There are evidence that the market leader Tesco copies Asda’s cut-price beer move, a story by Jacquie Bowser, Brand Republic 10-Oct-08, 08:55. See Appendix 5.

Tesco attempt to meet rival in price war backfire with suppliers as indicated online, title: Tesco faces supplier revolt over prices, by Ben Bold, Brand Republic 03-Nov-08, 16:05; LONDON – Tesco, Britain’s biggest supermarket, is facing a revolt by food suppliers over its efforts to push down prices in its battle against rivals such as Asda and discount retailers Aldi and Lidl. See Appendix 6 for more details.

7. TESCO and its leveraging of competitive advantage

A fundamental understanding of the significance of competitive advantage was at the heart of Tesco’s strategy throughout the 1990s. Their performance outstripped that of the vast majority of retailers and has led not just to the company taking over as the market leader from Sainsbury’s in the UK food retailing market, but also to its increasingly successful development of clothes retailing. In doing this, Tesco has concentrated on developing a series of competitive advantages that, taken together, represent an enormously strong selling proposition, provide consumers with a powerful reason to buy, and put competitors at a disadvantage.

7.1. Efficiency Enhancement

 Tesco always put their efforts to do things “better, simpler and cheaper,” for their customers and employees. They usually enhance not by focusing on big aspects of the business, but by providing small enhancements and functional areas continuous training for improved quality staffs (with superior resources and skills). In the age of innovation, Tesco improves customers’ savings through their efficiency such as wide choices of their own brand that are suitable for different customers, efficient time and motion innovations that are being distributed to different stores globally, the utilization of self-scan checkouts and bigger conveyor belts that help improves packing speed during checkout. 

A framework for thinking and links to organisation’s performance was proposed by Cravens (1996, pg. 36) as shown below in figure 6.

The source of

Competitive advantage

Superior skills

Superior resources

Superior control processes

Country of origin



Positional advantages

Superior customer value

Lower cost base

A differential product offering

Performance outcome

Customer satisfaction

Higher levels of customer loyalty

Market-share growth

Higher levels of distribution network development

The reinvestment of profit to sustain and leverage competitive advantage

Figure 6. Competitive advantage and business performance

(adapted from Cravens, 1996, pg. 36)

Competitive advantage involves categorising the bases of advantage under four factors: functional management, behaviour, staff and the marketing mix.

Functional Management advantages

The overall level of management ability

The willingness and ability of the marketing team to redefine the market in order to create market breakpoints

The ability to identify and manage risk

Management mindsets

Experience and

A focus upon implementation.

Behaviour and attitudinal advantages

Offensive attitudes

Flexibility and speed of response

A willingness to take risks

Staff resource advantages

Level of creativity


Staff mindsets

7.2. Product Development: Diversification

Johnson and Scholes (2003) believe that changes in the business environment may create demand for new products and services at the expense of established provision. Ansoff’s matrix also suggests that if new products are developed for existing markets, then a product development strategy has to be considered by the management level of a company. In expanding and diversifying Tesco’s product mix, it is also crucial to implement internal development when new products are developed. The nature and the extent of diversification should also be considered in relation to the rationale of the corporate strategy and the diversity of the portfolio. By following the changing needs of the customers, Tesco introduced new product lines. This may require more attention to R&D, leading to additional spending. Value added by uniqueness eventually led Tesco to command a premium price.

7.3. The Marketing Mix

The concept of a marketing mix is best described by Gronroos (1997, pg 322-339) claiming that it is “the set of controllable marketing variables that the firm blends to produce the response it wants in the target market.” It is composed of four Ps: product, price, place, and promotion. However, the company took the basic standards and slogans to which their company adheres to. Change in the provision of services in terms of the four Ps did may not completely deviate standards inherent to by Tesco. See appendix 7 for details.

Marketing mix advantages

The nature of each of the elements of the expanded marketing mix

The speed of innovation and

Management of the distribution network.

Competitive advantage must always be looked at from the customer perception, unless the customer sees something to be significant, it is not a competitive advantage.


Tesco utilized Porter for improvement of their strategic management and corporate strategy. The company implemented Porter’s Generic Strategies which targets a broad market and aims that present customers with products at a low cost for a given level of quality. The industry sells its products at average industry prices to earn a profit higher than that of rivals and below the average industry prices to gain market share hence become a leader.

In the event of a price war (see appendix 8), the Tesco maintained some profitability while the competition suffers losses. When there is no price war, as the industry matures and prices decline, the firms that produce more cheaply remained profitable for a longer period of time. 

Although, Porter provided Tesco a comprehensive strategic management model that served as a guide in it’s achievement, the company’s goal in being the largest retailer globally, Porter’s model still considered limitation at some extent: (a)Consumers, competitors and suppliers are not similar therefore they should not interact and may contradict each other. (b) Barriers that may be created because the source of value are at structural advantage. (c) Letting participants inside the market plan for the behaviours of their consumers may still result to low performance and uncertainties in the market.

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