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Tescopoly: How One Shop Came Out on Top and Why It Matters [Paperback]

Andrew Simms
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
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Book Description

29 Mar 2007
You can shop anywhere you like - as long as it's Tesco. The inexorable rise of supermarkets is big news but have we really taken on board what this means for our daily lives, and those of our children? In this searing analysis Andrew Simms, director of the acclaimed think-and-do-tank the New Economics Foundation and the person responsible for introducing 'Clone Towns' into our vernacular, tackles a subject none of us can afford to ignore. The book shows how the supermarkets - and Tesco in particular - have brought: Banality - homogenized high streets full of clone stores; Ghost towns - superstores have drained the life from our town centres and communities; A Supermarket State - this new commercial nanny state that knows more about you than you think; Profits from poverty - shelves full of global plunder, produced for a pittance; and, Global food domination - as the superstores expand overseas. But there's change afoot, with evidence of the tide turning and consumer campaigns gaining ground. Simms ends with suggestions for change and corporate reformation to safeguard our communities and environment - all over the world. This book has been written and published independently from the Tescopoly Alliance and is not endorsed by them.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 372 pages
  • Publisher: Constable (29 Mar 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845295110
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845295110
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 138,726 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'Tescopoly is a well-researched call to arms that demands
solutions....it deserves to read -- Morning Star, 14 th June, 2007

'Tescopoly is a well-researched call to arms that demands
solutions....it deserves to read'
-- Morning Star, 14 June 2007

'Very passionately, very well written, very well researched.'
-- Andrew Marr, BBC Radio 4, Start the Week

`A devastating account of the global and local impact of
capitalism unchecked.' -- So London

`A passionate, powerful polemic, and every little helps.' -- Independent on Sunday

`Pick up a copy' -- Tribune

`Simms shows the creeping, invading unsustainable world of the
supershop, its tentacles strangling the life out of our communities. Read
it.' -- John Bird, founder of the Big Issue and local-shop loyalty scheme the Wedge Card

`Simms's work succeeds as activism as well as analysis. His gift
for human stories as well as financial ones and his adept coinage and
adaptation of phrases and ideas that challenge Tesco's dominance should
ensure that his message is widely heard.' -- The Times

`Thorough and well-researched'
-- The London Paper

`What should be done about Tesco? Many critics want the place
banned and hemmed in by regulation ... But ultimately the real trick is not
to ban such places, but to create different desires in consumers, to reach
a situation where people are sufficiently sensitised to the drawbacks of
Tesco or Macdonald's that they won't want to shop there.'
-- Alain de Botton

About the Author

Andrew Simms is Policy Director of the New Economics Foundation and a board member of Greenpeace UK. His publications include several books and reports on climate change, globalisation, development issues, debt, corporate accountability, genetic engineering and food security. He is based in London.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
45 of 54 people found the following review helpful
With a well crafted argument, supported by many references and illustrations, Andrew Simms explains that the supermarkets - and in the UK especially Tesco - are now a corrosive feature within our society. He tells of how their actions undermine our food culture and wider aspects of culture and society, how they destroy local and regional economies, and how they are endangering the environment and the planet in their quest for continuous growth in sales. He explains how the supermarkets and particularly Tesco have been able to achieve their frightening level of power within our society and, consequently, how our individual freedoms as consumers and citizens are being erroded. He also explains how Tesco (and others) have been able to get what they want for business growth by manipulating planning laws, bullying local councils, threatening farmers and suppliers, and eliminating competitors - the independent food stores - through unfair and anti-competitive practices. Amazingly, this has occurred with the full support of the Government. Essentially, Tescopoly tells of of the failure of the market economy and of how the supermarkets are being allowed to achieve monopoly status in the UK food marketplace and in many other countries.

Tescopoly is essential reading for students of marketing, business, management and retail management, and anyone with an interest in the workings of the food marketplace and the oppressive and destructive power of big business.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exegesis of social consequences of corporatism 29 Jan 2008
Blimey, did I read a different book? Judging by some of the unfair criticism I read here I can only assume TESCO must've bombed the site with reviews! I found 'Tescopoly' readable and enjoyable - so much so that I decided to stock it in the little North Yorkshire organic grocery store I run. Well, go and try to find an independent bookstore to buy it? Any luck?

Little business is gradually disappearing from the streets of our towns and cities, replaced by faceless uniformity... call me old fashioned but I just don't want to live that way. When all the little shops have gone there'll be no place for titles like this one. I can't see the supermarkets stocking it alongside the next installment of Jordans biography can you?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars critical 24 July 2013
By m. dosa
a clearly critical look at tescos revealing lots of dodgy practises,how it helps to shut local shops replacing them with fewer jobs lower pay and less money going back into the community.how it blasts its way thru planning regulations.its general negative relationship with suppliers everything you need to know to make you shop less at this ugly shop
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22 of 29 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't finish it... 10 Jun 2008
Before I begin, i must stress that i only managed to read the first 3 chapters. So this isn't so much of a review, more of a quick overview of why i couldn't finish it which might have an impact on certain potential readers.

As a Computer Scientist, i am well aware of good practice when it comes to experiments. One of the main rules is limit the bias, else many of your peers will not take your results as seriously as you might like. This is exactly what i didnt like with this book. Simms hates Tescos, and it shows.

One such niggly example is how he points out that the staff in the Tescos he visits for the purpose of his research arent as happy or bubbly as they are in the ads. I've worked in food retail, it's boring, don't hold that against them! Another example is how he claims he was "treated as a criminal" when his wife was asked not to push their child in a trolley at fast pace down an aisle (while he was researching i imagine) but in all honestly, if an accident occured then Tesco would be liable, so who can blame them?! The first chapters are riddled with examples which show his contempt for Tescos which for me, destroy his credabilty for providing a fair look at the situation, which in my opinion this book should be. If Tesco produced a highly biased overview of the main topics that surround them then i'm sure Simms would pick it to pieces, so asking for neutrality is only fair.

Sorry, this book just isn't for me. If however you don't like big multi-national corporations and want something to further your interest or provide interesting quotes or figures from the people involved then go for it. Simms at least does provide reference in his notes which is a plus.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Not a bad book 11 Jun 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Not an academic book but a good read & eye opener to what the retailer get up to. Easy to read-
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30 of 41 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Clumsy And Muddled 23 Nov 2007
Not a particularly good book, and definetly not worth buying.

Simms offers very little insight into Tesco itself and instead gives a lot of very generalized sermons about why big business is bad and how we can save the planet by doing X,Y and Z better.

While I agree with his general message (encourage the small trader, level the playing field in business, use less resources in growing and transporting food, stop global warming, etc etc) it lacks clarity and the book comes across as clumsy and muddled.

If you are looking for the next earth-shattering expose of big business in the vein of Fast Food Nation etc then you will be sorely disappointed.
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
By Alison TOP 500 REVIEWER
The previous reviewers comments about the book are spot-on, it is an important read about the destructive effects of big business and would be a valuable read for students of business and marketing.

What the previous reviewer doesn't mention is how this book is important on a personal and ethical level. When I realised how ignorant I was about the wide reaching business practices of supermarkets like Tesco and Asda Wal-Mart, I really felt that I had to change the way I bought my food and where I shopped for many other items. I now shop at my local shops; greengrocers, butchers and bakers. It's a liberating experience and one that is important for our local community.

I'll be buying this book for many of my friends and family. It's important that they know about where they shop and the impacts their purchases have on their community and more widely across the world.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars They should have paid me to read it...
I was looking for a balanced and thoughtful discussion on international/large businesses such as Tesco. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Cheated
3.0 out of 5 stars Over the Top?
I think the author protests too much. Undoubtedly, Tesco is capturing a big share of the market, and is pushing out the small trader, and afecting local High Streets. Read more
Published on 21 May 2012 by Mr. David G. Hanstater
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye opener and mind set changer
Maybe I was naive to the way big business works and their reasons for doing things but I found this book insightful and eye opening. Read more
Published on 3 Mar 2012 by George Chilcott
2.0 out of 5 stars Some good points, but blames Tesco for societal change and failing of...
disclosure: former Tesco head office employee (in IT)

This book makes some reasonable points (in an overly wordy way), but I feel attributes too much blame to Tesco as... Read more
Published on 17 Dec 2010 by M. Thomas
1.0 out of 5 stars In brief, writer having a dig at big business, simples........
Bought this for 2 reasons:

1. I am interested in economics
2. I was considering purchasing Tesco shares (and wanted to see whether this book would convince me that... Read more
Published on 11 Sep 2010 by Mr. G. A. Pearce
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Available in Tesco
I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but many of the reviews of this entertaining and illuminating book stink, particularly the one from the person who admits he only read the first... Read more
Published on 24 Feb 2010 by The Whisper
2.0 out of 5 stars A missed opportunity
Andrew Simms really, really dislikes everything about Tesco. Actually he doesn't much care for anything about modern Britain but he clearly regards Tesco as the single most... Read more
Published on 14 Dec 2009 by A. Warmington
3.0 out of 5 stars Tescopoly: Open Your Eyes
I read this book primarily so that I might discover some damning evidence that would cause me to leave the employment of Tesco's (I work as a Customer Assistant for the firm). Read more
Published on 6 Sep 2009 by Arthur J. Sonic
1.0 out of 5 stars Abysmal waste of time
I wanted to know about the rise of the supermarkets in general and Tesco in particular.
This writer waffles ceaslessly. Read more
Published on 2 Sep 2009 by S. J. Kirby
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Brilliant read - we all need to know how the big supermarkets operate - should encourage everyone to think about the source of their purchases and shop local
Published on 1 Jun 2009 by L. Seal
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