Saturday, January 27, 2007


Mark Steel, I'm sure we all agree is a genius. In this week's Independent he railed against Tesco's pointing out something that seems so obvious, yet every other commentator seems to have missed. Anyway, I just had to link to him.

Mark Steel in relaxed moodSo what's wrong with Tescos? "A starting point has to be that no one in Tesco is ever happy. People are lured by cheapness and convenience, but then they pay for that by spending their time there in a vegetative trance, staring aimlessly into the despotic white light, maybe drifting back into consciousness for a moment to whack their kids on the back of their legs for climbing on the trolley, before the regular beep-beep of the bar code machine returns them to their hypnotic dreamy half-life."

"Every boast they make is actually its crime. It is horribly irredeemably joylessly functional. Every tin of custard powder is placed at such an angle to entice you to chuck it in the trolley. Every tomato is perfectly spherically fluorescent. Occasionally they might decide that customers have indicated they appreciate conversational check-out staff, so the check-out staff will be ordered to say: "Hope you enjoy your evening." But that's worse than if they stared into space."

"People say: "At least I can get everything in one place." But the place is bigger than an average High Street. You might as well say: "I go shopping abroad because at least you can get everything in one place - France.""

Mark concludes by hoping the next report says; "Look, the economics of it are a bit complicated to be honest. But what we do know is that Tescos is an abomination devoid of love or affection or humanity or imagination or even genuine animosity that could make a day interesting or unpredictable, just a corporate tyrant devouring us all with its soulless and chillingly inconvenient convenience."

Mmmmmmm, propagandaliscious.


Kitchen Witch said...

Speaking as someone who endured Tesco's at 5.00 yesterday, you just can't fault the man's logic, can you?

badmatthew said...

And a bllow is struck against them teleological Marxists who hold that the future is Tescos: minus the profits, advertising and fun stuff, of course; but certainly embodying the principles of rational organization.

The Sentinel said...

The spread of this chain should have been stunted by the Monopolies and Mergers Commission. The fact that it hasn't is just another example of the endemic corruption of this establishment.

Tesco's (and the other big chain's) tactic of favour is to buy into the centre of an area, provide ample car parking, lower prices to undercut the opposition, and offer superflousspecial offer to make themsleves as attractive to the consumer as possible, when the competetion is dead the prices rise and the offers trickle. Can you imagine what will happen if they ever manage to knock out all of the competition?

I always prefer small, if possible family run shops. I think they are friendlier because its more personal and they have a vested interest in your return, you know that you are helping someone to maintain autonomy form employment whilst helping provide jobs that seem to pay a bit more then the large chains. You can influence the stock if you wish too and you do not have to contend with mindbending queues and faceless staff.

As Napoleon once noted, the British are really nation of shopkeepers.

weggis said...

But you do have the option to buy square watermelons!!

Daniel S. Ketelby said...

The spread of this chain should have been stunted by the Monopolies and Mergers Commission.

But why is there only one Monopolies and Mergers Commission? Eh? Eh?