Tesco comes in for an awful lot of stick. Some of it is deserved. The supermarket is humungous; it holds a huge land bank, it drives uncompetitive small shops out of business, its requirements from producers tend to mitigate against artisans and small businesses and its treatment of dairy farmers was, until recently, appalling. Tesco is one of the things that people give up for Lent.
On the other hand…
It has a better stock of olive oil than any other supermarket, it gives yeast away free, it is beginning to source some of its produce locally and it already stocks a lot of organic stuff. All this in response, I would guess, to customer pressure.
Anybody who has worked in business knows that there’s a lot of lip service paid to customer satisfaction, but usually it comes from HR. Imagine my surprise therefore when, in response to an email, I got a real letter from Sir Terry Leahy, Chief Executive of Tesco. This man is one of, if not the, most important retail chiefs in the country. You don’t see much of him, although he does occasionally pop up in person on the Today programme, because he seems to spend all his time rushing around doing deals with
I had the misfortune to take a tumble in one of his stores. Usually people rush up and ask you if you are all right. We will gloss over what actually happened, but it wasn’t that. I came home seething and fired off an email. I took a guess at the address and lo it was right! Three days later he returned from
Don’t tell me I shouldn’t have been surprised and that it’s his job and that I’m a customer…I was ASTONISHED!
You can’t let these tiny moments pass unnoticed so…a round of applause for Sir Terry Leahy please.
And now let’s get back to the barricades.