Posts Tagged ‘tesco’


Recently, news surfaced that Boots plans to add a personal banking service to increase customers.Reason: Because Tesco is doing it.


How is that going, may I ask?

Enter Tesco

Tesco’s grip on the British public is so strong and widespread because prices are low (or competitive) enough and footfall is sufficient to sustain its other services.

True to the supermarket giant’s brand proposition, “Every Little Helps”, customers can save time and earn points using their mobile, insurance and banking services. Whilst they may not be the cheapest in town, they certainly are one of the most fuss-free. Everything done under one roof, from groceries to wine to topping up your phone. Heck, your pets will be safe and you get points for that too!


(image Copyright © Mike Smith 2003)

Now let’s go back to Boots.

Boots is a high-street chemist, healthcare and beauty products retailer. It was also where you could buy stamps, the Pill as well as grab lunch and drop off your film to be processed. When it dropped “the chemist”, the company showed that it wasn’t just enough.

One can only imagine what on earth they’re thinking trying to copy Tesco.

Putting on my strategist’s hat, I can imagine that the board was seeing their share price slip and sales stagnant and they’re thinking “How does the big 4 do it?” (the Big 4 being the 4 supermarkets that dominate in the UK; Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda and the other one – actually, it could’ve been the big 3 and I’m getting that mixed up with the 4 aces of advertising). So they go:

“Right, who do we admire most?”


“What do they have that we don’t have?”

So the entire board visualises the shopfloor and start form the entrance.

“They have cigarettes and lotterty”.

Gets a backhand.

“They have shampoo!”

“We have shampoo”

“They have drugs!”

“We have drugs”

“They have food”

“We have food”

“They have drinks”

“We have drinks”

“They have cheap booze”

Another backhand.

“They have insurance and banking services!”

“AH HA!”

I can only see failure in this and urge Boots to not go down this route and try to be another Tesco, but rather, be the Tesco of chemists, healthcare and beauty.

Tesco is to value (not groceries) what Boots is to healthcare and beauty. I say it’d be better for Boots stick to what they know best and invest in reinforcing that image.

Not really mutant eggs, but sort of. Remember when I was blasting Jamie “Goody-two-shoes-my-ass” Oliver? Okay, here’s the thing: There is SOME difference between organic and non-organic. With non-organic stuff, because it’s been tampered with so much, everything looks perfect and that is not natural. There is no chicken that lays eggs that are the exact same size as one another. That’s why my eggs look like these:


Mutate your friends

:: Stumble It! :: add to :: post to facebook :: Add to Blinkslist :: add to furl :: Digg it :: add to ma.gnolia :: add to simpy :: seed the vine :: :: :: TailRank ::


The world will soon bow down to awesome might of Tesco (and/or Wal-Mart, too, my American counterparts). Tesco, as we all know, expands their business like crazy, like a plague! Recently, like bunnies on Viagra, they’ve introduced more virus into the marketplace. First car insurance comparison website – because their car insurance is quite well regarded, hey, let’s do a comparison site. Then came the Tesco shopping comparison site! Hey, we’re a retail outlet, let’s do a shopping comparison of our products. But most profoundly, they’re taking on Adobe and Microsoft as well. See for yourself:


A month ago, I started posting some funny signs that I’ve come across. Of course, I probably have come across hundreds, if not thousands, but this has only become one of my obsessions recently. And so I started sharing pictures of these wonderful nuggets here. Have you ever wondered where #1 – #8 are?

Traffic jams: Bad.

Traffic jams with things to see and do: Not so bad.

Traffic jams with funny things to see: Good



I love food. I’m not sure if I love food, or the act of eating. But I’m pretty sure I love eating more than I love food. Otherwise I’d probably worship peppers and pray to salamis like a freaking freakazoid freak.

When some people cook this is what they do:

1. Look at recipe
2. Gather ingredients
3. Measure
4. Measure
5. Measure
6. Get a bit anal about something or rather
7. Look at recipe
8. Start cooking
9. Look at recipe
10. Shout “Get the hell outta my kitchen, boy.”
“Uh-uh, you ain’t wearing that. I can see your tits from here a mile away!”

(or something like that)

But the food usually comes out pretty alright. No biggie. You know what home cooked meals are like. Mom or wife gets sick of cooking and it becomes cooking as a responsibility. Taste and garnishing goes out the window, and then you eat for the sake of having to live! No fun, no fun at all.

However, I believe that when you have lost the pleasure of eating, it’s time to die. As the French say (cue French music and Eiffel Tower in the BG) “Food….it’s the symphony of life”. I dont know which French said it but I sure didn’t make that up. HONEST!

Anyway, as I was saying, food is simply one of the best pleasures in life so now you’re expecting me to give you some funky fancy modern fusion Asian-Western-Ethnic cooking tip eh? Oh, the build-up! When I cook, this is what I do:

1. Open a bottle of wine (No vintage rubbish for me. A nice South Australian’ll do me just fine. And I aint talking about the women!)
2. Open fridge
3. Take everything out
4. Try and play Food-Tetris with the stuff and see what and what fit best
5. Sip wine (a sip, depending on your culture, varies in size and volume)
6. Turn on the radio (or iTunes) and get a li’l bitta samba, and a bitta venga
7. Decide on what I’m going to cook
8. Sip more wine (see point 5)
9. Up the volume, Up the tempo
10. Sippy, sippy
11. Pri pair de food
12. Take large swig of booze
13. Put eberyting in oven

So, after having a very good time, some time last week, I’m going to share with you a recipe, straight out of my kitchen. I call it Mark’s Potato Pie (spare me the jokes!)

Here’s what you need:
Potatoes (the £1.50 for 4 type) – some
Mushroom (The big-ish ones) – some
Dried herbs from the supermarket – normally comes in bottles
Mature cheddar cheese – I used half a block.
A tip for buying le cheddar: Don’t buy those Cathedral City fancy named cheddar. Cheddar is a farmhouse, old-skool kinda cheese. Get it in the supermarkets, those without the fancy packaging. AND definitely not from Lidl. They do great food, but not cheddar. If you can, get cheddar from the farm! Or just the regular supermarket own label stuff is alright. I’ve tried Sainsbury’s, Tesco’s, Waitrose’s and M&S’s – they’re alright. Any other supermarket, you’re on your own.
Salt and Pepper – As much as tickles your fancy. And let’s stop using this lo-sodium nonsense. Nasty, nasty stuff. That’s what pants must taste like.
Garlic – one
Olive oil – Lots

Here’s what you do (feel free to add wine wherever you like)
1. Peel potatoes and slice them. About 1/2 a centimeter should do it
2. Toss in salt and pepper. Leave
3. Slice mushrooms to the size of the potato slices. This is the tricky bit. If the potatoes are significantly bigger than the mushrooms, it will taste nothing like mushrooms. And if your mushrooms are bigger than the potatoes, you really have to stop smoking pot!
4. Smash garlic and rub the insides of an oven-safe dish. The dish has to be at least 3 inches deep, otherwise, you’re in trouble when mom/granny/wife/pet fish/girlfriend/boyfriend finds the doo-doo your dish has done!
5. Lace the dish with olive oil.
6. Lay the potato slices AROUND the walls of the dish (I learned my lesson – I WILL take pictures next time) so that they look like you’re preparing an egg salad – each slice overlapping the next. You’ll find a void in the middle. chuck all the small insignificant potato slices in there.
7. Sprinkle fresh herbs and olive oil on this layer.
8. After you’ve done one layer, arrange mushrooms, similar fashion, but a bit trickier, so I just dumped a whole bunch and lay them flat. Then sprinkle salt and pepper. I like the taste of mushrooms so I used only pepper instead.
9. Lay the remaining potatoes on top of mushroom layer to form another potato layer.
10. Finally, the cheese. Seriously, not the whole block! Use slices. I’ve had people from all over the world ask me, “How do you measure cheese?”. And after thinking about this and doing my research, I’ve finally found the answer: your preference for cheese, will be determined by your pinky. So regardless of body size whether you’re a sumo wrestler or Paris Hilton, your preference for amount of cheese is half your pinky’s width. Yup. For this recipe, Look at how thick your pinky is, half that, and that’s how thick you cheddar slices should be! Now once you’ve sliced them, pile them onto the top potato layer and make sure there are no holes.
11. Leave it in the oven ’til the cheese is brownish and looks like as thought it has burnt and has stuck to the sides of the dish. Believe me, this is PERFECT, and it will come off easily, and it’s so so yummy!

You can serve with a side of olives, mushroom and sundried tomato antipasto, or just have it on its own. Have a bottle of nice Cloudy Bay, a couple of Kangaroo’s testicles, and have a G’Day, Mate!

Tell me what you think of the recipe when you’ve tried it.