The retail giant promised up to 100 jobs – until planners said ‘no’ to the new store.
But experts claim that an average of 276 indigenous local jobs are wiped out every time a Tesco moves into an area.
The practice of a Tesco taking over a local economy is called Tescopoly – and the retailer is also in a battle in Letterkenny, trying to take over the petrol/diesel retail market which is also the subject of a planning dispute.
Donegaldaily.com has been inundated with comments on the Ballybofey issue, many of them agains the store – and some for it.
You can read them on our original post here:
And here is some more reading, with references to vast price differences between Tesco Letterkenny and Tesco Derry.
BACKGROUND FROM WIKIPEDIA TO CRITICISM OF TESCO IRELAND:
Cases in Ireland
Tesco Ireland is the largest food retailer in Ireland, with over 13,500 employees. As of 2004 Tesco Ireland has come in for increased criticism for apparently high prices in its Irish stores, although in its favour this seems to be because comparisons are with the British Tesco stores rather than other Irish retailers – and thus, officially speaking, like goods are not being compared with like. However, there have been general criticisms of the similar pricing between Irish supermarkets, and economic reports noting the high prices in Ireland generally. Research from Forfas, concluded that only a five per cent difference in the cost of goods between North and South was justifiable. The findings highlighted retailers’ larger margins in the South vis-a-vis their operations in the North, and the Minister for Enterprise queried why the price differential in many identical goods was substantially in excess of 5%.
Speaking to business leaders in Belfast, Tesco PLC’s CEO argued that higher prices in Northern Ireland were due to higher energy costs and the cost of transporting goods from Great Britain. This does not explain the large disparities in pricing when goods are moved by truck between the Derry (UK) branches and Letterkenny (Ireland) branches – a distance of 21 miles – for example.
A report by the independent retailers group RGDATA contained allegations that Tesco overcharged customers. The report shows that customers in six Tesco stores were overcharged by an average of 3% on some items.
In July 2008 Tesco Ireland was convicted of failing to display prices properly by the National Consumer Agency.
The Food Safety Authority of Ireland, has on a number of occasions ordered the recall of Tesco branded products, including a case of glass contamination. Environmental Health Officers served a closure order on Tesco’s store in Prussia Street, Dublin, the day after they inspected it, for a number of breaches of Food Hygiene Regulations. Most food is imported from Britain, where the BBC’s Whistleblower programme showed undercover footage showing the sale of products after their sell-by date; allegations that the company illegally sold ‘back-labelled’ products after their use by date; falsification of temperature records; and the sale of partially-cooked mince mixed with uncooked mince.
The British-owned supermarket refused to stock any of the one million postcards which are aimed at closing the controversial plant at Sellafield in Cumbria. Dunnes Stores and Superquinn, along with other retailers across the country, did sell the postcards.
The Advertising Standards Authority in January 2009 found that Tesco advertising was misleading.
Tesco tried to hide its policy from Irish people of buying directly from UK suppliers. An internal document said that a key objective was ensuring its policy of taking deliveries directly from UK suppliers went unnoticed and remained “invisible to the Irish customer”. At the same time the president of the Irish Farmers’ Association said there was deep anger about Tesco’s decision to displace local produce with imports and that it “will inevitably lead to thousands of job losses and will put Irish producers of local, fresh produce out of business.”
Tesco used “Change for Good” as advertising, which is trademarked by Unicef for charity usage but is not trademarked for commercial or retail use, which prompted the agency to say “it is the first time in Unicef’s history that a commercial entity has purposely set out to capitalise on one of our campaigns and subsequently damage an income stream which several of our programmes for children are dependent on”. They went on to call on the public “who have children’s welfare at heart, to consider carefully who they support when making consumer choices”.
Large supermarket chains were accused by Fine Gael of putting up to 100,000 Irish jobs at risk by forcing suppliers to pay €160 million a year in “hello money”.
The company was accused of sharp practice in December 2009 by forcing motorists to pay a carbon tax six hours before it became law.
The company was the subject of claims in February 2010 that it demands up to €500,000 per supplier for stocking goods.  The leader of the Labour Party described the practice as “outrageous extortion” and was “like the kind of thing you expect to see in The Sopranos.”
Britain’s Advertising Standards Authority said a leaflet produced by Tesco Ireland Ltd, was ‘‘irresponsible’’ and breached clauses in the advertising code on substantiation and weight control in May 2010.
Tesco pleaded guilty and was fined, after sending unsolicited marketing emails to a number of customers and for having a problem with the email “opt-out” option.
In early 2011, Tesco warned Irish publishers that it will ban their books from the shelves of the supermarket if they do not play by its rules. The bestseller which sparked the controversy, on the revelation about Sean FitzPatrick‘s golf meeting with Taoiseach Brian Cowen, was published in secret and distributed directly to Easons and selected bookstores – but not to Tesco or other supermarkets. The secret last-minute delivery was organised to avoid any legal complications that might have prevented publication. Tesco said “If we find evidence of this happening (again), the offending publisher will have all their titles removed from sale and returned.” One publisher pointed out that Tesco sometimes implements exclusive deals itself.
Tesco increased the prices of some well-known products significantly just weeks into 2011 before reducing them as part of a 1,000-product price promotion launched in March 2011.