Top of the P.O.P. Charts (UK Retailers)

I don’t know what I expect to find when I arrived in London, maybe stores that only sold tea and English muffins, wholly scarves and Sherlock Holmes hats (I believe they’re called Deerstalkers). But what I found was very similar to home. Sure the names changed and there were some products on the shelves I didn’t recognize (like Marmite) but overall I actually saw similar retail strategies. Like, “Made in the UK.” For some reason I thought part of what made “Made in the USA” was American bravado but guess what, the English are proud of the stuff they make, too. Including British farming which is being used as a key point of difference by Sainsbury who is also focusing on healthy living and family activities. While Tesco is striving to “scale for good.” Every retailer is trying to beat every other retailers “lowest prices” but the charge is being led by ASDA with price matching (I’m assuming they are borrowing a page from their US cousin’s playbook, Walmart). ASDA is also catering to Mom, or Mum, along with Morrison’s to offer programs and price that help with their day to day lives. On a minor note, can I just say it makes me giggle that Tesco’s current tagline line which is “Every little helps.” is being challenged by the discount retailer, Lidl,  with their tagline “Every Lidl helps.”

The formats are probably the biggest difference. I saw no warehouse format, so no Sam’s Club or Costco. They called their big box discount stores, Hyper Stores. Then they have Metro and Express which is similar to our small format and C-store channels. But the most interesting thing was that the major retailers tiered down into these formats versus stand-alone brands in the channels. For example, it was Tesco, Tesco Metro, Tesco Express versus us with Target, Safeway, and 7-11. 

Below is my “cheeky” version of an org chart that helps line up UK retailers with US retailers, but let’s be honest, every retailer wants to be all things to all people.

Special thanks to Chelsea & Sara for all their help.


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