Sir; So Bill Grimsey is accusing Tesco of trying to drive smaller local players out of business (The Grocer, May 15, p6).
Could this be the same Bill Grimsey who tried very hard to see off a small start-up venture in Wrexham nearly three years ago? Grimsey, chief executive of Big Food Group, accuses Tesco of predatory pricing by offering £8 off £20 of shopping at its store in Withernsea - a discount of 40%. He clearly believes this is shocking behaviour on the part of Tesco.
Yet consider what his Iceland did when faced with competition from a single frozen food outlet in Wrexham.
Prices on a basket of 14 products in Iceland were reduced from £31.03 to £13.63, a discount of 56% - somewhat more than the 40% that Grimsey now appears to find so upsetting. Prices on dozens of other products were cut by as
much as 70%. Discount vouchers offering an additional 10% were given away in the street.
Iceland staff were stationed outside the rival store every day, to count customers and carrier bags. Sunday trading was introduced at Iceland when it had previously not been considered viable.
Heavy local advertising was introduced in the press, local radio and by flyer.
The minimum spend to qualify for free home delivery was reduced from £25 to £15.
The store staffing budget was increased substantially, plus two additional store managers were drafted into the store, full time, to help the existing manager.
Take heart Mr Grimsey, Tesco won’t put you out of business. And none of the above affected my Cooltrader frozen food venture in Wrexham. It survived, prospered and expanded and now has 12 branches.