Nabco Retail Shelving Systems


A Brief History of Tesco

Ryan Willis

As the go to supermarket for many and most grocery shoppers, Tesco has enjoyed astonishing success in the shopping marketplace. To celebrates its success, we’re taking a brief look into the history of this supermarket establishment.

Starting Life

Tesco’s earliest incarnation found life in 1919, when Jack Cohen began selling surplus groceries from his stall in the East End of London. Cohen made a profit of £1 from sales of £4 on his first day.

Tesco Brand

The Tesco brand was first born in 1924, when he bought a shipment of tea from Mr T. E Stockwell. Jack Cohen used the initials and letters to form Tes-co, before the flagship Tesco store in Burnt Oak, North London.

Stock Exchange

Tesco became a private limited company in 1932, but in 1947, Tesco Stores (Holdings) Ltd floated on the stock exchange with a share price of 25p.


In the 1950s and 60s, Tesco began buying rival stores in a bid to monopolise the grocery shopping market. In the 1950s, the retailer bought 70 Williams stores and 200 Harrow stores as well as 97 Charles Philips stores and the Victor Value chain in the early 1960s. Tesco was growing and continued its rapid expansion by selling more products in larger stores. Tesco’s aggressive expansion continued through the 70s and 80s, placing it at the top of the supermarket industry.

Every Little Helps

In 1992, the Tesco we know today was born, introducing its slogan, ‘every little helps’. Introducing new technologies, products and its own ranges, Tesco has continued to grow at a rapid pace and in 2000, launched, completing its dominance of the UK supermarket industry.

Is Tesco your favoured supermarket? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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