Saturday, May 02, 2009

(Not) buying Irish at Tesco

The Irish Times reports that Tesco Ireland is keen to start downgrading Irish products in its Irish stores, and to replace them with offerings that more closely match those on the shelves of its British stores.

Contrast that with Tesco Ireland's own "Statements on Current Corporate Responsibility" (, in particular the section on "Irish sourcing":
Our policy is to maximise the amount of Irish-produced and Irish-sourced product in our stores, subject to competitive commercial criteria. This policy enables us to meet our customers' expectations of stocking local Irish products and support for the local economy. Customers thus have available a comprehensive range and choice of Irish and international products in our stores.
They'll be needing to edit that bit.

The change will begin in selected stores, with Tesco hoping to "stress test" brand loyalty and to "wean" consumers off "certain products" - the Irish products, presumably. The plan is then to see the change roll out nationwide.

Tesco Ireland also state
we are very aware of our importance to the Irish food industry, being its largest customer. We invest substantial time and expertise in forming long-tem [sic] partnerships with our suppliers, so that their businesses can grow alongside ours.
Presumably that's why one Cork store will be reducing its stock of Barry's Tea. Fear not,
Tesco Ireland has a firm commitment to stock products from Irish suppliers wherever possible.
So it must be that it's just not possible to get Barry's Tea to a shop in Cork, or maybe Cork people don't like Barry's tea. (Yeah...right.)

The Irish Times article says that "a source familiar with the retail giant’s operation confirmed it would be making 'a significant announcement' on Tuesday." What might that be? An extension of their price-matching policy? Will they be accepting Sterling at the tills in the Republic? Will they be selling only in proper British Imperial units, none of your fancy kilogram nonsense? Al Murray as their new marketing face?

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