“It would be different at Tesco if Uncle Jack was still in charge,” barks Karoline (with a K) as the first coffee of the morning (Deathwish - “the world’s strongest”) kicks in. “Uncle Jack. Who he?” we enquire. “Jack Cohen. Founder of Tesco. Used to dangle me on his knee when I was a girl.” I’ve seen photos of K when she was a girl and all I can say is that Uncle Jack must have had strong knees. Anyway, Jack’s prescription for the salvation of the troubled supermarket (© all newspapers), as channelled through Karoline, is a return to the ‘pile it high, sell it cheap’ days. “Nobody goes to Tesco for quality. Get back to market trading,” he/she commands.
Convinced this is the future (as well as the past), we start to develop suitable campaigns for a putative relaunch. Miranda suggests “Our tat is better than your tat” as a strapline and everyone starts getting excited about inked-up celebs Megan Fox or Jessica Alba fronting the push in an amusing play on words. We have to explain what we’re talking about to K (“Megan who? Tattooed where?”) by which time she’s lost interest in the whole thing and we’re back on thetrainline.com to get refunds on the tickets to Cheshunt.
It’s enough to drive you to drink, though only in the last resort to Romanian wine. While Halewood has gone part way towards honesty and openness in calling its range ‘Surprisingly Good,’ it seems to have left “given that it’s Romanian, but that’s not saying much, even at that price” off the label. Back at Tesco they’re deploying word cloud wine descriptions on pack. Very brave, but presumably they filter out ‘bleurgh,’ ‘disgusting,’ ‘yuck’ and ‘you must be joking’ from the Eastern European range descriptions.