Supermarkets are weathering a gathering storm of hi-tech protests as increasing numbers of campaigners turn to the web to gain support for their causes.
Last week The Grocer revealed that residents in the Scottish town of Inverness, dubbed ‘Tesco Town’ because of the retailer’s giant market share there, had created a web site to gather support for a campaign to stop Tesco opening a fourth store in the town (The Grocer, February 11, p11).
And this week two further web sites were launched - TESCNO (Traders Enduring Supermarket’s Continued New Openings) and HASSLE (Hereford Against Supermarkets Squashing our Local Economy).
Both sites are protesting against the possibility of new supermarkets opening at Chelmsford in Essex and Hereford. In addition, anti-Tesco pressure group Tescopoly this week launched a campaign map on its web site to provide information about local campaigns across the country.
However, a spokesman for Tesco dismissed the sites. He said: “We respect people’s right to their own opinion and try hard to engage with these groups so that we can explain the benefits Tesco brings to communities around the country. In our experience, these groups do not represent the views of most ordinary people, who simply want to be able to shop in a way that is convenient and affordable for them and their family.
“All we ask is that these groups recognise that people have a choice - and that how they exercise that choice should not be dictated by regulation.”

Beth Brooks
French food group Danone’s full-year operating profit rose 8.1% to E1,738m on net sales up 6.1% to E13,024m. It said like-for-like sales for the year had increased by 6.7%.
The Coca-Cola Company and Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company have jointly acquired Italian mineral water company Traficante Group for E35m. The acquisition, subject to regulatory approval, includes mineral water brands Lilia and Lilia Kiss and two production facilities in the south. Meanwhile, Coca-Cola HBC has revealed a 9% increase in pre-tax profit for the year ending December 2005 to E789.9m, on sales up 13% to E4,780.3m.
US retail giant Wal-Mart has launched an advertising campaign focusing on the wide range of products it offers. The adverts contain the strapline ‘Look beyond the basics’.
US retail sales increased 2.3% in January, the US Department of Commerce has revealed. Analysts said that the increase was because of exceptionally warm weather for the month. They had expected an increase of nearer 0.8%.
Tate & Lyle is investigating whether a product containing sucralose sold in a small number of Wal-Mart stores in the US has infringed its patent rights. It said the product, Altern, was found to contain an active product of Chinese origin. Tate & Lyle has a patent for sucralose, which it uses in its sweetener Splenda.
Baltic Beverages Holdings, a joint Russian venture between Scottish & Newcastle and Carlsberg, has reported a 24.7% increase in full-year profit to E484m, on sales up 21% to E1.7bn.
n French profit
n Coca-Cola buys
n wal-mart ad drive
n US sales up
n Patent probe
n baltic increase