Why Don’t We Want a Tesco?

Why Don’t We Want a Tesco?

Tesco and big supermarkets generally have adopted a model which is good for short-term gain, making money for distant shareholders. Unfortunately, this is bad for sustainable economic growth, drives out local business, undermines workers rights and damages the environment.

Local Economy: A thriving local economy feeds off itself with money being re-circulated between different trades and businesses. This sustains a diverse range of jobs and enterprises. The money spent in a Tesco would go one way, out of Stokes Croft and out of Bristol . To grow a resilient local economy Stokes Croft needs independent local business that buy their products and services in Bristol. (The Plugging The Leak project by the New Economics Foundation is great if you’re interested in this issue.)

A Fair Deal for Producers: Supermarkets have a history of slashing the price they pay suppliers under the banner of serving us cheap food. Often our food isn’t actually that much cheaper and this behaviour is mainly about increasing their margins.  The end result is farmers and suppliers struggling to survive. Often they get bought out by bigger businesses willing to disregard issues like fair trade, deforestation, and workers rights. Tesco are now strongly fighting the introduction of a supermarket watchdog that will stop unfair practices.


Playing Dirty: The big supermarkets have become increasingly devious with their marketing giving us the impression food is cheaper than it really is. A couple of tactics that are hard to spot: price-cut campaigns on high-profile products that coincide with a net increase of the price of all their goods; price flexing, changing prices up and down over a number of months so customers don’t know whether they’re getting a bargain or being ripped off – generally its the latter. This article sums up a few underhand supermarket ploys pretty well.


There’s loads more info at Tescopoly. Watch this space for events in Stokes Croft where you can find out more and debate the effect supermarkets have on everything from our diets to the way our cities are planned.

Back to The Campaign


  1. […] painstakingly played it by the rules, coming up with a multitude of creative ways to make it clear how unwanted this development is and that it goes against everything our community stands for. We have fought Tesco through the […]

  2. Tescos was badly needed in Stokes Croft. There’s nothing even close in the area and most of the local silent majority welcomed it’s arrival. Those anarchists with their pseudo socialist ideology decided to ruin the area for everyone else trying to get on with their lives.

    • sorry to break it to you, but anarchists can’t have pseudo socialist ideas- it’s a contradiction in terms, not to mention the fact that socialists are statists, whereas anarchists are anti-state. Secondly, i suppose that silent majority wren’t counted in the survey of 500 people which found a 90% opposition to the store. Is this silent majority also unable to walk half a mile in either direction?

      And, as always, give me a good defense of Tesco. They make £10 million in profit a day. They squeeze farmers and producers to make them sell their produce so they only just break even or even make a loss. They gentrify and yuppify the neighbourhood. Most people don’t want to walk into a high street filled with the same shops as every other high street.

      I Hope you enjoy your gentrified brave new world, with its utopias sold from every tv and hoarding, where leisure becomes just as mind numbing and aimless as work, and where every wall is clean of graffiti.

      and, since you clearly don’t have any idea what anarchism is, let me quote you the final address of an anarchist who was executed on false charges:

      Anarchism does not mean bloodshed; it does not mean robbery, arson, etc. These monstrosities are, on the contrary, the characteristic features of capitalism. Anarchism means peace and tranquility to all – August spies.

      And the whole selfish “trying to get on with our lives” is the biggest piece of apathetic crap. I suppose you don’t think the egyptians should have protested, since it hurt their economy? There’s more important things in life than work and the economy.

      • “Anarchism means peace and tranquility”, how does this fit in with your condescending and aggressive tone? As for the rest of you argument – and I will make no attempt to hide my contempt – you sound like you are 15.

        The audacity to draw an analogy between your pathetic parochialism and the Egyptian struggle!!!

        Now that your alleged social conscience has erupted into mob violence and revealed to the nation what is was all along, namely rabble-barbarism. The cries of “our street! our street!” filled me will horror. Planned petrol-bombing of Tesco? There are flats around there – someone could have died if it’d went ahead.

        Why doesn’t the PRSC denounce this violence? Why? Perhaps because it stirred the pot of mass hatred in the first place. Undemocratic thugs.

      • If Anarchists can’t have such views, the why did so many so called anarchists turn out to protest the government “cuts ” ??!? Surely any anarchist would support reductions in government, otherwise, you’re not anarchist, you’re big nanny state socialists.

        You’re survey was hardly representative not a valid sample was used.

        The easy answer, let Tesco open, if it’s not popular, it will lose money and close. Simple logic. What you want is different, it can be summarized as “do what we tell you, or else”. Fascist scum is a good description of you and your type. Fascists, telling people how they must live, how they must shop, how they must accept your opinions as the law or be violently attacked.

      • Guy, you are a total moron. That shithole town needed one place where the decent people can shop. You stick with the freaks, tramps and squatters and go to them disgusting local shops. Oh yeh, the ones not run by local people, no locals working there and the money is circulated out of this country, nevermind stokes croft you idiot

  3. Tell us, the public, how do you propose we feed the population of Britain without large supermarkets like Tesco?

    Don;t worry, I don;t expect a response from psuedo-liberal facists like you arseholes.

    • A liberal fascist does not exist Jane!

    • We managed pretty well before the 50s. Every non-western country manages it as well. You seem to misunderstand what tesco does. If Tesco were closed down, the food would still be produced, but you’d get through different methods, such as co-ops. And, they would have the added benefit of being accountable to the community, and serving their needs better- since they’re run by the community. It would have the benefit of working to feed people with organic and sustainable produce, instead of mindless cutting costs at every point, in the greedy desire for money and profit. And, (hahaha!), any money made would be reinvested into the community, instead of paying for shareholders’ and executives’ holidays and filling the coffers of the three political parties. Clear enough for you?

      • Guy, you really are a condescending arsehole. If you want people to listen to you then you really need to be polite. Anyway. you argument is riddled with cliches and errors. “We managed pretty well before the 50s”. Not true. The standard of living in this country was appalling. You are a dreamer, but you are not the only one – no, there is a whole angry mob of you and you should all spend more time reading books and less time sucking off each other’s cliched drivel.

  4. Yeah, when a chain store opens in my locality I riot too. It’s the perfectly reasonable thing to do.

    No-one’s going to force you to shop at Tescos; if the decision to open a store there is as unpopular as you say it is, it won’t be open for long. What people don’t understand, they fear; unfortunately these bored students are not intelligent enough to understand how capitalism works on a holistic scale. That’s the new lower middle-class for you.

    • How does capitalism work on a holistic scale? To me, corporations such as tesco work only only in the pursuit of profits, and any good they do (eg charities) is rather hugely outweighed by the harm the capitalist system in general does- for example- do you think the dairy farmers living on tiny wages, forced to sell their milk at cheaper and cheaper prices due to huge corporations like tesco feel that capitalism is holistic? Or maybe you think we should corporatize farming even further, leading to ever more battery farming and the introduction of those lovely people monsanto.

      I understand it completely- the gentrification of our lives. I fear it. And, I’m also f*cking angry about it. I don’t want to live in corporate dystopia run by people who see us only as “human capital”. And I’m a student.

      If you are going to give a defense of capitalism, i wouldn’t bother with neoliberalism- which was rather conclusively disproved by the financial collapse, and specifically the collapse of iceland- which was (hahaha) advised by neoliberals (and visited by milton friedman, who is typical kindly fashion charged where no other university lecturer had.)- and the experience of the poor in chile and other south american countries- such as mexico.

      I wouldn’t bother with the so called “cultural capitalism” defense either, where you claim that if only those bosses where a little more nice and cared a little more, it would all be fine. In fact, that would mark you out as a typical middle class liberal.

      • “And I’m a student.”

        I would have never have guessed.
        Once you grow up, mature, and get a job, you’ll realise rioting doesn’t get you anywhere. If the Tesco is really as unwanted as you claim, you’ve nothing to worry about, nobody will shop there.

  5. Ben and Jane. Please fuck off and die screaming of cancer you zionist parasite scumbags.

    • Whatever your opinion on this issue wishing Cancer on anyone, even your absolute worst enemy, is absolutely disgusting. This person has obviously never had anyone close to them suffer from this awful disease. I sincereky hope they never do, but would hope that they think a little bit before sending such hateful messages.

      • Its really disappointing to read people trading very personal and harsh insults.

        We’d all be much better served by debating the merits and demerits of Tesco based on the evidence.
        There’s absolutely no need to demonise each other in the way that’s going on above, irrespective of your point of view.

    • I don’t think “zionist” means what you think it means. Having read their posts a few time I found them in no way supporting a sovereign Jewish state.

      probably best to call them societal/political/economic insults.

  6. In relation to the recent riot/protest, here’s my thoughts on it;

    The language capitalists speak is property and money. So I can see why destroying property is an option. It didn’t seem very helpful in this case though. All it does here is solidfy Tesco’s resolve to keep this store open (as if they gave in, it would be seen as a way to ‘get’ at Tesco). It also makes them look like a victim and give them public support.

    Would it not be better to beat them at their own game, by not shopping there? No violence. Just people power. If it wasn’t profitable it would close. However, if people shopped there and it was profitable then it would stay open. Maybe this would then be the real voice of the community. Who knows?

    • Well said.

      This all sounds like a small bunch of young idealists who think they can dictate to the rest of us.

      Money where their mouth is, or not as the case may be!

      • I agree. The recent rioting – not to mention the proposed petrol bombing. I mean for fuck’s sake someone could have died if it had happened – filled me with absolute horror and disgust. THIS HAS GONE TOO FAR. People chanting “our street! our street!” whilst burning and smashing up the place. Community spirit?!

        I’m shocked that there has been little attempt by the local pressure groups to denounce the violent. They merely seem to be burying their head in the sand with regard to morons within their ranks and trying to pass the buck solely onto the police.

        Let’s not descend into rabble-barbarism. So far these attempts to stop Tesco have been impotent and childish – smashing windows isn’t going to stop anything nor is bad bongo playing going to harness the power to crush global capitalism.

  7. […] painstakingly played it by the rules, coming up with a multitude of creative ways to make it clear how unwanted this development is and that it goes against everything our community stands for. We have fought Tesco through the […]

  8. You people need to get a life.

    • You do realise your’e reading a blog at 4 in the morning? Perhaps It’s you that should get a life. Maybe you have insomnia- in which case, i’d reckon its probably caused by dissatisfaction in your own life- come down to the nest riot or protest- maybe that will wake you up out of your depression?

      • As it happens, you judgemental misinformed cunt, I happen to have a busy life which demands i am around at different hours of the day.

  9. I think you’re deluding yourselves if you think smaller retailers behave that differently from Tesco. If you really want to keep money local, set up a Local Exchange Trading System – see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LETS

  10. For Tesco’s to exist thousands of people have to shop there. It is perfectly obvious that if a majority of people don’t want it then it will fail quite naturally. It is also perfectly obvious that a small group of people consider their own wants and desires to be far more important than those of the majority. No doubt they consider themselves superior, more intelligent, more important and certainly more genetically advanced than the undermench. This is how it starts and we all know where it finishes. The villain who twirls his moustache is easy to spot, but those who cloak themselves is good deeds are well camouflaged.

    • Its not actually an issue of making a profit. Supermarkets are able to open a lot of stores because some of them will make a loss- or at least not a very large profit, while others will make a large profit to balance the others out. Tescos aren’t really going to care too much how much money it makes- and they may keep it there just as a statement- shops also serve to extent the “reach” of a brand name- as a kind of massive piece of advertising.

      Secondly, the very fact that the Tescos is there is an affront to the people there- who, lets remember, in a survey of 500 people, were 9/10 against it. They had to build the store under private security and Tescos used loopholes to get the application through.

      And, to conflate left wing people with nazi and fascist ideology simply displays your own lack of understanding of what the left is (that isn’t to say i look down on you, before you whinge). I would think for a moment about what things like socialism and anarchism have achieved. Without them, we wouldn’t have the vote- and feminism wouldn’t exist. Lets just remember, women got the proper vote (not the unequal one) in 1928, 11 years after it was introduced in russia (and, yes, i know they couldn’t really exercise it, and i don’t like the bolsheviks, but its worth remembering what these people have done). Likewise, divorce without a reason (i.e. if you wanted a divorce, it had to be for a reason like adultery) was legal in russia long before the UK and the US- as were abortions. Again, this isn’t to say i like stalin, but you have to remember that without socialism and the extreme left, the introduction of these concepts both in law and in people’s consciousness wouldn’t exist, or would have taken much longer. If it weren’t for the IWW and striking socialists and anarchists in france and america, they wouldn’t have many of the labour and human rights laws they do now, nor would they have the 8 hour working day. (and before you whinge about lazy workers, i seriously doubt you would have been able to stand 80+ hour weeks in appalling conditions on starvation wages- as many still do today)

      So, given that you enjoy most of the fruits of their struggles, i wouldn’t be so quick to criticise the far left, and people who actually take an interest in their community, instead of just surrendering to capitalism and gentrification.

  11. Why don’t you bunch of lazy cunts stop complaining, go out and get a job and stop trying to control everyone else?

    Consider how much effort it took to build this website, organize a bunch of protests, and “sensitize” everyone to the evils of – gasp – a supermarket. Then think about how much good you could have done if you took that same effort and actually helped someone. Work at a soup kitchen. Volunteer to help the elderly or infirm. Etc.

    But of course, you wouldn’t do that kind of thing – far too useful and not nearly self-agrandizing enough.

  12. I’m an ex Bristolian myself now living in London. I really, really hope you all stop Tesco running that store. For most of my adult life I have loathed all big companies with a passion & Tesco is no exception.

    They’re exceedingly greedy, manipulative, scheming, cheating, selfish, arrogant and now they’re getting some fight-back from the community I bet their managers etc are nervous, if not, they SHOULD be.

    Do all you can to fight this, even if it means going on a mass sit-in hunger strike outside the store. Let the managers sweat on that. Also, try to make business there really, really difficult for them by blocking the roads for Tesco vehicles, (only), and keep an eye open for the senior staff, make their days miserable by plastering their vehicles with eggs, flour etc. Also, maintain a heavy presence and continually, repeatedly place A5 prints of your feelings into the windscreen wipers of all vehicles with the Tesco brand, do it as they drive down the street stuck in traffic lights, put rotting food into their wheel hubs.

    Tell Tesco that they are NOT welcome there and as long as they are there, you will make business for them very difficult. It’ll cost them a great deal of money that they’d rather not have to spend and you will make your feelings felt. Failing that just drive a large vehicle into the store when it’s safe to. Spray messages onto their vehicles made of harmless food dyes or ‘paint’ flour messages onto the store itself. Lett all the air out of their vehicle tyres by the valves, don’t damage them but let all the air out & leave a note clearly visible and firmly attached on the windscreen telling the driver before he/she gets in for their next round, so they cannot claim they had an accident because they didn’t know. Disrupt their day to day operations.

    Get in touch with their key suppliers and tell them that other locally managed businesses will take their trade give them slightly better prices too – leave Tesco Stokes Croft with no suppliers or at least so they have to get stock from further afield which in turn will cost them more money.

    In other words – tell Tesco to kindly f**k off. 🙂

    Good luck to you all. I hate these mega businesses as much as you.

  13. I only found about the Anti-Tesco campaign recently as a result of the riots/protests. After reading the points behind your campaign I can state that I do thoroughly agree with the majority of the points risen, and that you have every right to protest and strive for your ideals, that is without question.

    However, the riots that took place on that night is a stain on this campaign’s image and those who run/lead this protest should be ashamed. You have ripped your own image and pride as a proper campaign into shreds in the eyes of the media and the general public. You have made yourselves out as the enemy and Tesco is now the victim.

    As far as the unaware is concerned, the recent protest/riot is a result from hippy-like, immature and bored students/delinquents looking for trouble. By taking such unnecessary action you have made your own job as a campaign even more difficult. How can you expect growth in support for your campaign when everyone now associates you as a public-endangering group?

    The most logical step would be to boycott the store and damage it economically rather than physically. Run the shop out of money and force redundancy or waste of stock. If the local support is as strong as you say, which seems to be the case, this wouldn’t be difficult to achieve. A few dents and broken glass won’t stop a multi-million pound corporation.

  14. What worries me most about the recent Tesco riots is the affect it has on children growing up in Stokes Croft: the example it sets is if you don’t like a certain business or shop then it is ok to trash it/get violent/beat it up. What an appalling and irresponsible example to give to children in how to resolve an issue!
    The most reasonable and peaceful way to oppose Tesco( or any other business you don’t like) is simply to not support it and don’t shop there. Any business will eventually close if it doesn’t make a profit…including Tesco!

  15. How about giving people, the right to choose for themselves?
    Those who want to shop at Tesco’s can, those who don’t want to then don’t!
    This is a free country despite some of the opinions on here. Those who don’t want to shop at Tesco, shop at a local store instead, if there is as much support as you have said then the local shops will still be able to exist as they do in plenty of other areas of the country.
    To those slating Tesco, just remember how many jobs they create and how much money they pay in taxes.
    I live in the South East and local shops survive quite easily with big supermarkets in the area, the reason some small shops fail is because they are shit, if they are a good business they can quite easily stay in business.
    Also don’t forget some people can’t afford to shop in smaller shops due to the cost, so people on lower incomes have to make every penny count, so supermarkets are a god send.
    I would also like to point out that Tesco pay more to farmers per litre of milk then the Co-Operative do, and they always say they are ethical!
    No I don’t and have never worked for Tesco, I am just trying to make the alternative point, which will probably be ignored as the majority of people on here just want to have their point made and that their view is the only correct one (Nazism comes to mind!).

    If you really are ‘fighting for the common good’ give people the choice to vote with their feet, let them shop at Tesco if they so wish, this is a free country! Why is it always a few people who are out for a bit of violent action always the one who believe they are right and we should follow what they say?

  16. Get off the roof you bunch of pricks!

  17. Tesco needs to die. Yet again ive been overcharged. £87 online then £95 when the food was delivered. I claimed back 2.50 but cannot see where i had been overcharged with the rest. Tesco have become a parasite that needs to be exterminated. The stores are like a cancer to most towns across the country and have accomplished nothing good. Their wages are insulting and the same can be said for their business ethics.

  18. And to the morons who say ” if you don’t like Tesco, don’t shop there”. Tesco, and other greedy corporations who are all very much the same, have done a fantastic job at destroying and then dominating any and all local business so that we, the consumer, have no where else to shop. So before you start with your dopey, irresponsible, cloned responses open your eyes and have a good look at the destruction and social decay Tesco brings to anyone unfortunate enough to be caught its wake.

  19. Arghhhh F**K you Tesco anyone who wants to shop there is a total idiot. The service is crap the products are shit the experience is like going to a public toilet. There’s always a better shop just round the corner. Quite often I don’t even interact with a human when shopping there. BURN IT DOWN!!!

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