The supermarket chain of Tesco is one which has expanded in its history to incorporate over 6,700 stores in 12 territories, and somewhere in the middle of that history, Maldon was the home of the brand’s very first attempt at a supermarket.
Whilst Tesco had been operating since 1919, first as a market stall then as a chain of smaller stores mainly in London and the south of England, they like other grocery brands of the time were losing out to Premier Supermarkets, who since 1951 were making 10 times as much money each week from their larger supermarkets than rivals could with their smaller stores.
Looking to end the dominance that Premier had on shoppers in the 1950’s, Tesco made plans of their own to build supermarkets, the first one being in Maldon in 1958. Located on the High Street, the new shop offered features such as butter, cheese, and meat counters (where attendants would assist and weigh the customer’s choice), along with the options they were used to in stores.
Over the next few years, Tesco then grew this new-fangled ‘supermarket’ idea across the UK with more stores and more varied range of product types than rivals, including a Guinness World Record-breaking-sized ‘superstore’ in Leicester (England) in 1961, a year after beating Premier to purchasing the Irwins chain store brand (with over 200 locations), a pivotal point in the companies’ respective histories.
Today, the location of their first supermarket is no longer used for Tesco’s operations, but competing brand Iceland, with Tesco now running a much larger superstore at the bottom of Market Hill as of 1992, and overall growing to become the most dominant brand of supermarket in the country, having really started to take off in the 60’s, where competing with traditional market stalls was a major business concern of the time: