Monday, July 02, 2018

Are massive supermarket profits a good sign?

When newspapers and news agencies report high profits by supermarkets, it always seems to be done with a thumbs up tone, a well done that wealthy food seller.
Shouldn’t it be the opposite? Shouldn’t news sources be on our side – the ordinary consumers’ side – and challenge the massive profits that some companies all but boast about.
Take today’s news from the BBC, for instance. Tesco is joining forces with Carrefour, which is - we are told – Europe’s largest food retailer with sales of around £78 billion.
Tesco’s profits, seemingly for the last year, are £1.3 billion.

The plan by two giants

‘The two plan a "strategic relationship",' we learn.
Isn’t it obvious then that if the customer is to be helped with ‘lower prices’, then the profit must be cut back. And that’s part of the current on-going news of the big supermarkets’ concern over the discount supermarkets, Aldi and Lidl.
You don’t have to have a higher degree in sales to spot the big difference between the discounters and the, er, non-discounters, I bought six tomatoes tonight at Aldi for 39p. Looking online, the same product at Sainsbury’s is 65p and 69p at Tesco.
I bought a grapefruit for 48p at Aldi, and at Sainsbury’s they are 50p and 55p, and 50p at Tesco. A 200g packet of fruit and nuts was 56p at Aldi with a similar packet at Sainsbury’s for £1.48 at Sainsbury’s for 200g. Tesco’s Fruit and Nut Mix is £1.50 for 250g.

Our coffee-mad world

And in a coffee mad world, I bought a pleasant Aldi-brand Colombian ground coffee, 200 grams for £1.99. Sainsbury’s cheapest is its Fairtrade Colombia coffee, 227g, for £3.50. Tesco offers its Colombian ground coffee at £2.29 for 227 grams.
Sainsbury and Tesco supermarkets never seems ghost shops on my visits, but Aldi and Lidl! You often just about need to fight your way to get to a teller, except that they are usually the politest of cashiers and customers are remarkably tolerant. Continues on the blogs for my ocean adventure book, Sailing to Purgatory, at


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