Tesco Refers Shoppers to Smaller Shops
One of the first rules of success in retailing (and life, for
that matter) is that you simply can’t be all things to all people. That principle,
however, has not kept numerous small shops in various categories from going
out of business as larger chain stores focus on selling the most popular items
at deeply discounted prices.
Recently, Tesco CEO Sir Terry Leahy expressed regret over his company’s
role in the demise of small book shops in the U.K.
Eleanor Davies, manager
of one-such small shop, The Bookseller reports,
wrote to Sir Terry in October and said she could not compete with Tesco on top
titles. She then pointed out, however, that she was able to offer “less popular
titles and book-buying advice” that Sir Terry’s stores could not.
the Tesco that sits opposite Ms. Davies’ shop has put up three signs in the
store to let shoppers know they can “cross the road to Linghams [Bookshop]
where the specialist staff would love to help you.”
Ms. Davies said Tesco’s
assistance has brought her more shoppers. “Obviously
they are still going to buy all the cheap ones that we can’t compete on at
said. “But for range and other titles they may come to us.”
What do you think of Tesco’s friendly competitive approach to the independent
bookseller in this story? Is there a lesson here for other retail giants and
do you think it likely something like this would be played out in the U.S.?
persuades Tesco to promote its book range – The Bookseller
store directs shoppers to bookseller – Telegraph