The Mail reports that “Tesco’s profits have fallen for the second year running as its rivals continue to eat into its market share, which is at a ten-year low.”
Oh dear, Oh dear, Oh dear! We might have more sympathy if they were truly an English enterprise but, on the evidence, they are not!
Despite having been started 82 years ago in London, England by Jack Cohen, Tesco is a determinedly British business. This attitude was reinforced when Ian MacLaurin, of Irish extraction, was made managing director in the 1970s.
It might have been tolerable if Maclaurin and Tesco had been even-handed in their use of national flags and emblems in their marketing but, whilst they are content to promote Irish, Scottish and Welsh produce under THEIR respective nations flags and emblems, English produce is mainly promoted as ‘British’ with the Union Jack flag. What proportion of British [ie English] apples are grown in Scotland and Wales we wonder; the same proportion as ‘British’ pork no doubt!
Numerous complaints to Tesco merely elicited the response to the effect that there is “customer resistance in Scotland to the Cross of St George English flag”! How interesting! More importantly, it supplies a degree of objective albeit commercial evidence not only of Scottish hostility to England and anything English, but it gives an indication of the extent of that hostility.
1% of the total UK market amounts to 12.5% of Scotland’s share. So, what is the proportion significant enough to induce Tesco to make the commercial decision to use the Union Jack for English produce . . . assuming that anti-English prejudice had no part in it! Is it 2% or 3%?
2% of the total UK market amounts to 25% of Scotland’s share, whilst 3% amounts to 37.5% . . . yes almost 40%.
It is difficult to exclude anti-English prejudice having a part in Tesco’s decisions when one remembers that the ‘customer resistance’ line is not applicable in England where 84% of Tesco’s potential customer live and yet the British Union Jack flag is inflicted on English produce!
If Tesco (and Sainsburys and Morrisons) really want to increase their trading performance, I have a radical, innovative suggestion to make: USE THE ENGLISH FLAG, THE CROSS OF ST GEORGE ON ENGLISH PRODUCE!