>>in a busy news week, tesco keeps up its relentless growth


What a week. Two overseas state funerals, a royal wedding and a highly visible spat on the football field - and then, to top it all, Tony Blair calls the election.
Taking away Newcastle FC’s Kieron Dyer/Lee Bowyer brawl, something I’m sure generated much conversation and no doubt a great deal of amusement in the football-loving grocery industry, it is the latter that will be of most interest to our sector.
Or will it? As our news story and analysis show (pp4/35), business will be low in the priorities of the main political parties - that’s if it figures at all.
Despite the major industry associations’ speed off the mark in publishing their election manifestos, it’s unlikely we will hear a pipsqueak about issues such as retail crime, joined-up government thinking in areas such as health, and the dangers of increasing consolidation and excessive supermarket power.
The Association of Convenience Stores is calling on its members to ask local candidates how they will deliver a level playing field. Can I suggest that the best time to put this question to local MPs will be next Tuesday, when Tesco is expected to announce it has broken through the £2bn profit barrier for the first time.
This week, however, we report Tesco breaking through another barrier - it has taken 30% market share for the last quarter according to our latest ACNielsen TradeTrak figures (pp 4/25). Tesco itself is playing down this landmark. After all, it says, it has just 12.5% of the retail market as a whole. And this is the market it is now sees itself playing in, what with its burgeoning clothing and other non-food offers.
But, of course, Tesco is acutely aware of the backlash that could follow its results announcement next week. Expect a display of modesty all round. No pronouncements of “we are taking one in every eight pounds spent on the high street” this time.
With attacks coming from all fronts, Tesco is right to be cautious. Next week’s announcement could well be more a lesson in how to manage the media than one on how to manage the relentless growth the company continues to show.
Like the political parties, Tesco is going to have to work hard to send out the right messages if it is to succeed as well in PR as it does in everything else.
PS: rise of a superpower