Dr Jeff Bray comments on Tesco trading figures

Dr Jeff Bray, Senior Lecturer in Marketing and Retail Management at BU, was interviewed on BBC Radio Solent about Tesco’s dip in profits.

The retail giant had recorded a fall in its annual profits for the first time in 20 years, and announced that it was planning to pull out of its stores in the USA.

Jeff told Solent’s Drivetime presenter Steve Harris that he thought the latest figures were “absolutely appalling”.

“Their actual profits, after tax has been taken into consideration, are down some 95 per cent, so frankly, those who have invested into Tesco in the last 12 months have seen barely any return on their investment,” Jeff said.

He added that because Tesco was such a huge company, it would take a long time to turn things around.

“Essentially, in the UK, they took their eye off the ball, and didn’t refurbish their stores in a regular process, so their whole store estate is a little dated now.

“Of course, they’ve got so many stores spread all over the country that it’s going to take a great deal of time – and money – to update the stores and bring them up to the standard that actually some Waitrose and Sainsbury’s stores are now at.

Jeff explained that one of the key reasons Tesco took their eye off the ball in the UK was because it had been expanding internationally.

While that has been successful in countries such as Thailand, they have struggled in more developed markets like the USA – where there are already a large number of established grocery retailers.

“It’s in those markets where they have lost their way and, in the case of America, are going to withdraw – having lost £1.2 billion, which is a staggering figure.” said Jeff.

You can listen to the interview in full here.