History of Tesco
Our Parent Company was Built on Innovation
Since 2007, customers in California, Nevada and Arizona have grown to know and love fresh&easy and its innovative, high quality products and low prices. While fresh&easy is relatively new to the United States, its UK-based parent company, Tesco, has a rich history of innovation and social consciousness that has carried over to its U.S. concept.
Tesco began humbly in 1919, when founder Jack Cohen began selling groceries in an east-end London stall. His philosophy of “buy cheap, sell cheap” was successful enough to propel him to his first branded product launch in 1924 – Tesco Tea (named for the initials of the partner in the tea supply firm, T.E. Stockwell, and the first two letters of Cohen’s last name).
By 1929, Jack was able to launch the first Tesco store in London, and he continued to open new stores in the London suburbs through the 1930s.
Always the innovator, Jack returned from a North American trip in 1948 with an idea that was quite radical for the U.K. – self-service groceries. That year first self-serve grocery store opened to mixed reviews. Of course, the concept eventually caught on and forever changed the way British customers shopped for groceries.
Jack’s next big innovation came 10 years later, when he opened the first “Superstore” in the U.K. It featured the same self-service concept as his earlier stores, with the addition of counters selling meat, butter and cheese weighed by employees.
Over the next several decades, Tesco continued to be a retail leader. In 1984, years before the Internet even took off, they introduced Teleputer, the first online shop. One year later, they brought the first bar-code scanners to the U.K.
In 1995, Tesco began its international expansion with stores in Hungary. As of 2012, the company has a presence in 14 markets, including, it’s fresh&easy stores in the United States.
Customers of fresh&easy are familiar with its dedication to the communities it serves, to schools and to the planet. This is a natural extension of the values Tesco has maintained throughout its history. To date, Tesco has donated more than $2.6 million to buy computers for schools, and more than $7 million to breast cancer research. [NOTE: I converted the amounts given in the video to USD for easier reference of U.S. readers] The company is also dedicated to becoming a zero-carbon business by 2050.
There are many more interesting details about Tesco’s history. If you’d like to see more, the company has launched a new, interactive history timeline on its website (including many historic photos), and a video retrospective.
Fresh&easy is conscious of its heritage and grateful to the innovator who revolutionized the retail grocery business in the U.K. and created a legacy of providing the best, freshest products to its markets and excellent service its customers and communities. Today, fresh&easy strives to find and hire innovative and passionate people like Jack Cohen – people who have the drive and creativity to continue the company legacy.
Tags: fresh&easy, grocery, hiring, history, innovation, superstore, Tesco, UK, zero carbon business