Founded in 1919, Tesco is now the second biggest food retailer in the world (trailing behind Walmart) and is the largest force in the UK supermarket industry.
Tesco was allegedly formed as a black market operation, selling excess food at a time when rationing was in effect throughout the UK due to the strain placed on resources by World War I.
Despite their dominance, long-time CEO Philip Clarke has been forced to try navigate the company through a difficult period of late, with ASDA (owned by Walmart), Sainsbury’s and Morrisons all eating into the company’s market share.
Although traditionally only dealing in food stuffs, Tesco were the pioneers of diversifying supermarkets and taking them into non-food, electronics and clothing lines – and has continually reaped the benefits of this. They were also one of the earliest adopters of online grocery shopping with their Tesco Direct brand, and it has been argued that the range and scope of the products for sale through their websites means they will be a long-term competitor to Amazon.
Based out of their head offices in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, the company is responsible for employing around 500,000 employees throughout their Express, Extra and Metro stores. In addition to their core grocery business, they also run financial services through Tesco Bank brand as well as the established Tesco Mobile brand – both of which are promoted in stores.