Tesco chief plays down fall in market share to near 10-year low

Tesco chief plays down fall in market share to near 10-year low

Philip Clarke admits Tesco has an image problem but insists: ‘It’s not about market share in the short or medium term’

Sarah Butler

theguardian.com, Wednesday 12 March 2014 12.06 GMT

Tesco boss Philip Clarke has played down the supermarket’s fall in market share to a near decade low, saying he is building the health of the business for the long haul.

The chief executive admitted Tesco had an image problem, shared by many big institutions in the wake of the credit crunch, but said he was determined to bring about a “reappraisal” of Britain’s biggest supermarket.

He told the Retail Week conference in London: “I know our business is getting better and there is a lag between it being better and people talking about it.”

Tesco’s market share dropped to 28.7% in the 12 weeks to 2 March compared with 29.6% – the lowest since late 2004 according to data from Kantar Worldpanel. At its peak Tesco controlled 31.8% of the market.

Clarke said:: “It’s not about market share in the short or medium term. The industry is going through a most profound change. The only way I can see we can have a sustainable business in this period of change is by creating, innovating and differentiating.”

He highlighted Tesco’s new array of services, including a digital version of its Clubcard which will launch this year and an e-book service which will go live in the next few weeks.

Clarke appeared to indicate that he wouldn’t have a long tenure at Tesco. “You only have a job like this for a few years,” he said. “I’m not a young man. I’m 54 – I’ve given it 40 years.”

He added: “My job is to carry on doing the job until I’m ready to hand on to someone, until I find somebody to take over.”


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Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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