O U T S I D E L E F T   stay i n d e p e n d e n t

Tesco's Take Over

Tesco has a plan for Americans, happily for all, J. Charreaux is more than keen to go along with it

get the weekly Outsideleft newsletter
by J. Charreaux, for outsideleft.com
originally published: November, 2007
Hopes were it would be a high-end and / or semi-organic place like Ralphs' Fresh Faire or Whole Foods.
by J. Charreaux, for outsideleft.com
originally published: November, 2007
Hopes were it would be a high-end and / or semi-organic place like Ralphs' Fresh Faire or Whole Foods.

When the last grocery strike at Ralphs failed to crush their union, it seems that Alberson's has been shutting down and converting to more down-market grocery stores in a show of solidarity. My partner's been waiting with baited breath for our decimated Albertson's to reopen as a Fresh and Easy for more than a year. Hopes were it would be a high-end and/or semi-organic place like Ralphs' Fresh Faire or Whole Foods.

Mais alas, it is UK parent company Tesco's foray into the American marketplace. I had heard half of a public radio story about how British expats really love Tesco's house brand items. (I'm not sure if this will bring them out of the Eagle Rock Craftsman woodwork in sufficient numbers to make a difference.) At the dentist, I skimmed a boring Economist magazine article on Tesco's American Strategy, but I think the Big Idea is to have meals ready to eat so that the busy shopper can also grab a decent lunch without having to make an extra trip to El Pollo Loco. Or something. (Apparently, that's the kind of business planning you get in the UK when every third person with a bachelor's degree doesn't have to go back to California State University to get an MBA .)

A lot of the refrigerated shelves were 90 percent sold-out bare when we went in on Friday evening of their opening week. It was sort of like being in an AFI student film set in Poland in the '80s. Then I remember being in a Tesco in Sheffield and being fascinated by the foam-fighting diaphragm in a can of Guinness. That was in the '80s too.

We'll be back because it's close to home. The nuts and yogurt are good and they have a cheap house brand wine that is better than Trader Joe's. What's it called, Charles Schwab? And they have giant boxes of wine too, in case you have the same parent as Kathy Griffith.

see more stories from outsideleft's Product archive »»
best LPs of 2019 Bill Callahan... best LPs of 2019
  1. Shepherd in a Sheepskin Vest - Bill Callahan
  2. Return to Me - Lilac Time
  3. 2020 - Richard Dawson
  4. Chalk Hill Blue - Will Burns & Hannah Peel
  5. All Mirrors - Angel Olsen
Sno Aalegra... best LPs of 2019
  1. Shlagenheim - black midi
  2. The Imperial - The Delines
  3. Old New - Tomeka Reid Quartet
  4. Ugh, Those Feels Again - Snoh Aalegra
  5. 5 - Sault
Esther Rose... best LPs of 2019
  1. You Made it this Far - Esther Rose
  2. Hiding Places - billy woods + Kenny Segal
  3. I Found a Place - Bonnie 'Prince' Billy
  4. Thanks for the Dance - Leonard Cohen
  5. Walk Through Fire - Yola
David Benjamin Blower... best LPs of 2019
  1. We Really Did This and We Really Existed - David Benjamin Blower
  2. The Reeling - Brighde Chaimbeul
  3. Eton Alive - Sleaford Mods
  4. Purple Mountains - Purple Mountains
  5. Biiri - Nihiloxica

more stories you really could read...

thumb through the ancient archives:

search for something you might like...

sign up for the outsideleft weekly. a selection of new and archived stories every week. Or less.

View previous campaigns.

Movies To Be Thank-Full For
A quick look at the best and worst Thanksgiving films before the long four-day weekend.
Spanish Water
New writer Paul Hawkins bring his travels and travails from Southeastern Spain to outsideleft...
This is how Maurice Deebank Felt
Maurice Deebank, founding member of Felt, legendary guitarist and unparalleled aural architect, looks back at Felt's early career, and welcomes the fidelity of Cherry Red's remastered vinyl reissues...
Sir Richard Bishop: Six Strings and Everything
Former merry prankster in Sun City Girls, Sir Richard Bishop emerges with a survey of seriously beautiful guitar work.
300 Words From London: Grace Jones Meltdown
Grace Jones at the Royal Festival Hall. Still stomping in disco high heels at 60.
Hopps and Herms Hot Set
Some of our favorite things...