Blog: Wal-Mart whines as Tesco moves ahead

Catherine Sleep | 30 August 2005

This one leaves me pretty well speechless. I've been trying to think of something smart to say about it for the last couple of hours and failed. Wal-Mart, apparently, can dish it out, but it can't take it.

Did Lee Scott think conquering the cut-throat UK supermarket sector was going to be easy? Did he think Tesco was an easy target? Did he think that the managers of Asda, Sainsbury and the rest hadn't been trying until Wal-Mart came along?

When Wal-Mart took over Asda the British establishment appeared convinced that within weeks it would be the biggest retailer in Britain, if not the only retailer in Britain. To be British is to be ruled by people who are firmly convinced that you are a useless, idle good-for-nothing who probably drinks too much, or would if you were given the chance. The idea that any British company would be able to compete with the mighty Wal-Mart didn't appear to occur to them.

Unfortunately that might even mean that the British government can be sold the idea that Tesco's market leadership means there's something wrong with the market, rather than something right about Tesco.

Chris Lyddon

News Editor, just-food.com

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