Small business vs. Tesco

Story by Sam Stancill-Vines

It has now been five years since Tesco Extra opened so we visited local businesses to see how they are managing
with such big competition.

Del, the manager of Corner Stop, has happily taken advantage of the footfall Tesco attracts. “Tesco brought
life to the area”, he explains “It’s a good thing.” Del’s shop is one of the newest on Spital Hill. By comparison, S. R.
Raja is one of the oldest. “We’ve been here for many Burngreave Messengers,” said the boss, Raja Saddiq.

He was less positive about the supermarket giant:

“Before opening, they promised they would not interfere with local businesses. But they have.”

Saddiq understood that Tesco would not offer rival selections of Asian food. Today, Tesco has a dedicated aisle
for ‘world foods’. Finally, I came to Emin Supermarket, the largest store after Tesco, and also open 24 hours a day.

Back in 2011 owner Sadik Emin spoke confidently:

“I think Tesco have made a mistake, building their store there. …I’m going to beat Tesco!”

This time, he was more measured:

“It’s very hard to survive. You can’t fight with Tesco… They sell alcohol at prices we can’t even buy wholesale at.”

“It’s a shame” I tell him “you’ve got such a nice store here”. Emin’s is big, bright, clean, and Sadik himself very friendly.
Tony Hutchings from Tesco was keen to highlight the value Tesco brings locally; employing over 350 people, actively
supporting local charities, and hosting Eid prayers in the car park.

He said:

“We work very hard to support the local community. We’ve all worked here for five and a half years and I’m very proud of the positive impact we’ve had.”