Although it encourages its customers to remember that “every little helps”, it seems that Tesco shoppers are still not helping enough. The multinational has been struggling with continued profit loss and, ironically, the old corporate desire to cast the net of profit-making overlordship far and wide and as cheaply as posible has lots to do with it; there is a correlation with Tesco’s active collaboration with and embracing of the invasion into the UK of Eastern European immigrants. Like other British corporate business, Tesco was keen to seize on global scale profit-making at the expense of local well-being, but somehow did not account for the consequential damage caused by the displacement of Britons out of work or into zero contract jobs. In short, Tesco’s perilous record of profit loss suggests its customer base has shrunk away from it and, with the growth of no-thrill competitors and even the Food Bank phenomena, many of the old shoppers can no longer afford Tesco prices.
Even before the accession into the EU of the ex-Warsaw Bloc A8 countries, Tesco supermarket was a cheerleader for the spread of the European superstate into the east. In a 2011 article at the predecessor to this site, Luikkerland, it was recorded how in 2002 the then-Tesco CEO, Sir Terry Leahy, was already an advocate of such EU expansion (and the article in question can be read here). The sentiment was one broadly shared across British corporate business which looked forward to exploiting a low skilled, low expectation work force. In addition, in 2006 the corporate-media made a record of how Tesco was at the time actively targeting the 600,000 Polish who had already arrived in the UK in the two years since 2004 (these numbers suggesting that the Polish in the UK in the year 2014 should probably be counted in millions).
Since then, the general level of wages has fallen, but far from ever being perceived as a problem for Tesco or any other big business, historical documentation shows that at the start of the 21st century, British corporations and big business welcomed this as an inevitable consequence of unfettered immigration. As the aforementioned archived article reports, in 2004 the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) predicted that “the arrival of migrant workers from the EU accession states will help to relieve upwards pressure on wages, without creating downward pressure”. Put succinctly, wages would stagnate because the newly arrived workforce which would receive them were already used to a pittance.
The CIPD analysis didn’t tell the whole story, however, and maybe reflected wishful thinking in the face of hard-nosed economic reality. If wages stay low against inflation, and in the context of an indebted population, then there is less disposable income. In particular, Tesco and other corporations looking to harvest the “Polish Pound” may not have accounted for what would be discovered later to be a tendency of the new work force – and that was to send billions of £s out of the British economy. On a wider scale, the fact that EU immigration generally costs Britons £3000 a year obviously has an impact on everyone’s disposable income.
The upshot seems to be that there has been considerable consequential economic damage that has hit Tesco particularly badly. Tesco’s shares have dropped some 30% over the last three years and are now close to a 10-year low. News of the 6% reduction in Tesco’s underlying pre-tax profits in the last financial year is relatively hot off the presses. Relative to two years ago, Tesco’s profits have seen a dent of £500million. Shareholders are up in arms.
The chief cause of Tesco’s woes – although many other causes are proposed – must be the general decline in the standard of living in the UK; this is evidenced by the way shoppers have abandoned Tesco to shop at the bargain-basement rate chains of Aldi and Lidl, and this competition is recognised in a recovery plan devised by new Tesco leadership. However, nothing quite demonstrates the plight of British people in the context of the open borders that Tesco has advocated more than the growing number of Food Banks – and herein is signified the real source of not just Tesco’s, but all of British corporate-business’ current and future problems.
Britons have been displaced out of work or into zero contract jobs at the same time as the introduction of what some would call a callous welfare administration – not to mention general austerity measures. All the while, real income remains deflated thanks to a combination of factors. Even if an inflation rate is kept to a target, as the Government may be able to boast, it still produces a negative effect on prices if wages are not kept in line. This is certainly the case, and undoubtedly related to EU immigration (the Labour leader thought it was advantageous to admit to the relationship in 2011, but generally the corporate-media, which is full of types that want to see Britain fundamentally altered, doesn’t like to acknowledge this particular reality). Unemployment that is measured in terms of how many job vacancies are filled will always paint a rosy picture if many of those jobs are part time, and there is a glut of labour from other countries to fill the positions. However, the laws of the universe, let alone economics, dictate that when there is a surfeit of one thing, then it is not as valuable as when there is a deficit.
Cynically, Tesco has tried to capitalise on what are the real signatures of the parlous state of the British economy, and since 2012, has been involved in a scheme which appears, in the context of its year-on-year failure, as an attempt to access and make good from what is surely the growing charity-industry of food banks. Not only is there much money in good causes, but grabbing a stake in this one must be for Tesco about recouping lost business. Customers are encouraged, in store, to make donations to food banks, which, in the corporate cold light of day, is a marketing ploy to create sales. But such is the out-in-the-open brazen and bold-faced chutzpah of corporate outfits such as Tesco. The sudden appearance in the UK of a wide spread need for free food is something that Tesco, in its advocacy of the invasion of the UK, has had a hand in creating. Thus Tesco has received the bill for its treachery, but still expects its oblivious and deceived customers to pay for it.