Final Word from Thursday, December 15, 2011

In its home market, Tesco's sales have fallen for four quartersin a row. Its like-for-like "growth" in the U.K. was -0.9% in thethird quarter of this year, compared to a like-for-like drop inthe same quarter in the CR of -0.3%. While the Czech resultsare nothing to write home about, they're better than the U.K.figures. It seems that Philip Clarke can teach Philip Clarke athing or two about squeezing out sales. (The Czech GM happensto have the same name as the global CEO.) For example,when Tesco CR was caught selling "ketchup" that containedless than the 7% required tomatoes, it said it would stop callingit ketchup. When a supplier offered a fake Russian champagnelast Christmas that was a clear ripoff and that didn't even containalcohol, Tesco sold it right next to Bohemia Sekt's famousРоссийское Игристое and said it would fight a court order toremove it. And when the agriculture ministry said that breadthat is baked from frozen dough should no longer be labeled as"fresh," Tesco CR said it wasn't in the customers' interest.

Glossary of difficult words

HQ - headquarters;

like-for-like - comparable figures;

nothing to write home about - not something that is especially good or exciting;

ripoff/rip-off - an inferior imitation of something.

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