New Blog to 'Shop' Tesco

New blog criticises growth of Tesco. Interview/news story with founder Dave Miller

The astonishing growth of Britain’s biggest supermarket has become the focus of a new blog. Supermarket-sweep-up.com was launched earlier this week by a non-affiliated “concerned consumer” who says he is worried by the rise and rise of Tesco.

The new blog, dedicated to the UK-based retail juggernaut, hopes to place greater public scrutiny on the company, which recently posted record profits and now accounts for nearly 30% of the UK retail food market.

The founder of the site, Dave Miller, a post-graduate student at Ravensbourne College in Kent said: “I want this blog to present the bigger picture of what Tesco is doing, and its effects on our society. Electronic media has the potential to hold large corporations to account in ways that mainstream media doesn't always achieve.”

He added: “We all pay a high price for its success as it has closed down much of the competition. My local shops have been either out-priced or bought out, most have closed. I now have to buy all my food from Tesco when I'd rather choose from a variety of shops. I now have to drive to the shops, increasing road congestion and pollution, when I'd much rather walk to my local shops. I hate being forced into this whole 'out of town shopping' experience, it all feels so corporate and sterile.”

Although he doesn’t blame Tesco exclusively for the decline in local retailing, Miller says that he believes the company “stand out as the most ruthless and most aggressive. It happily keeps on selling Esso petrol with no thought of climate change, and currently aggressively introducing surveillance circuitry into their packaging.”

According to a recent report by Verdict Research, Tesco is poised to become the largest operator of convenience stores in the UK in 2005.

Miller is also keen to get other interested individuals and groups involved: “I'm looking for people who've been affected by or are angered by Tesco to contribute to the blog. People such as farmers, local shopkeepers, environmentalists, civil liberty campaigners, health campaigners, people who care about our quality of life and the food we eat.”

The site focuses on a number of issues relating to Tesco, including coverage of its promotion of radio frequency identification tags (RFID), the controversial spy tags that have garnered protests across the south of England. But, says Miller, his concerns are wider still: “I hate the way our environment is being shaped by Tesco, and what a lousy environment it is. I hate the way government turn a blind eye, and allow their uncontrolled expansion.”

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