The Business Model And Main Competitors Of Tesco

Tesco is one of the biggest multinational conglomerate companies in the world, that mainly focuses on grocery and general merchandise retailing. The company has its headquarters based in Welwyn Garden City, England. It is now said to be the third-largest retailer in the world if measured in terms of its gross revenue, while if the conglomerate is measured based on its total revenue it stands in the Ninth spot in the world.

There is no doubt when we say that Tesco is the market leader of groceries in countries like Hungary, Thailand, Ireland and the UK. In the United Kingdom, the company is known to hold over 28.4% of the overall market share. Besides that, it also has its outlets in seven countries of continents like Europe, North America and Asia. Tesco is probably one of the most recognizable retail names in the United Kingdom especially when it comes to grocery shopping.

But what you may not know is that the company also completes with other retailers like convenience stores and general merchandise. The British conglomerate has made a name for itself through organic growth and most notably through a series of strategic acquisitions it’s acquired and its subsidiaries since it was first created. The Tesco business strategy believes in expanding into a combination of acquisitions of new stores, retail services and adapting to the needs of consumers.

The main aim of the Tesco business model is to serve the customer not just in the UK but around the world and make them happy. This is more cost-effective for the business than acquiring new ones. According to some studies, the company's record-breaking sales is said to be more than £1billion a week and which was better than the expected annual profits of over £3.4billion for 53 weeks to 28 February 2010, despite the impact of the global downturn.

In the UK, Tesco currently has more than  2,200 stores that can range from the large Extra hypermarket style stores to other small-sized Express high street style outlets. Tesco online success is due to the expansion of its customer base via its online website and app through which it attracts more than a million regular customers and sells a huge variety of original product categories when it comes to groceries. Tesco digital marketing strategy is also responsible for making its customers return.

While its general merchandise sector has now diversified and has its foothold in industries such as banking, insurance services, electrical consumer goods, telephone gadgets and quality airtime. This article will tell you just how Tesco business model made the company so successful and will also contain Tesco competitors analysis.

The Business Model of Tesco

Tesco is one of the largest commercial and grocery store chains in the world, while the Tesco online market share is the largest when we regard the European market. Not only is Tesco marketing strategy and business model very successful in terms of selling its products but it’s also known to be extremely unique and professional in its ways of handling business and further possibilities. The Tesco business model is designed in a way wherein the company buys, moves and sells its various products and services to their customers to get insight in order to do a bit better each time.

Tesco business model focuses on four major components. The first step to Tesco business model analysis is in bringing in more feedback and insights into what customers want and try to understand their needs. By doing that Tesco can sell and distribute their products and services to their customers. The business model of Tesco is flexible, as the company is also willing to adjust or and improve its four components to accommodate the different types of customers that shop with them, this process also makes their shopping experience better and easier.

The Four Components of Tesco Business Model


The Tesco model offers its customers quality products that are developed by their Product team. Tesco company products are said to be of high quality because its team has an absolute focus on fair, transparent, mutually beneficial relationships with suppliers. The Product team works with our suppliers to source the best possible range of quality products that meet and anticipate our customers’ needs.


Tesco online success is because the company brings the best products to customers even through its online portals. Tesco online business model works through a range of channels from small shops to large shops and also focuses on growing their online business. As part of improving our offer, the company is investing in making our channels even more efficient and convenient for our customers.


Tesco business relies on serving its customers and its business model has customers at its core. We listen to our customers and act on what is important to them to deliver the best shopping trip: price, service, range and availability.


The main focus is to improve Tesco for customers. With the Tesco strategic plan 2021, the company aims at becoming more efficient and reinvesting some of the savings we make to improve the shopping trip. The reason for this reinvestment is clear, the better a job we do for customers, the more we will improve sales; the more our sales improve, the more we can reinvest.

What is Unique about Tescos Business Model?

Tesco has is one of the most unique business models when you analyze its rapid expansion first throughout the United Kingdom. It has expanded its footprint over the whole Eastern European area especially along the side of Ireland and Scotland. Tesco gains its large number of stores by simply buying off other small-sized stores in large quantities and also by purchasing the midsized grocery store chains.

This way instantly resulted in Tesco gaining numerous new stores, which were then connected with one business transaction. So what makes Tesco different from competitors? These are some unique factors about Tesco business model are:

Buying huge quantities of produce to then sell cheap

Everyone knows that the more someone buys from a product, the cheaper the product will become. The company maintains highly competitive prices up to the point where it has started to self-produce most of its grocery products in order to become even cheaper and give way to further specialization.

The company is self-producing

Tesco has also been extensively successful because it’s been producing its own grocery products in its own factories for a long time now. This way it can work at way lower rates than its competitors who do not have the means to produce their own goods. The company has become so successful in terms of self-producing its goods that these days it’s also been dealing with the production of premier quality products which are sold under Tesco’s brand name.

It has Online gateways

Tesco has opened its website and app through which it has been selling its products online with massive success especially in countries like the UK and other countries throughout Europe. Many people are not aware that this creates a unique situation as Tesco is the only chain of its kind in Europe that could keep its online shopping system successful and profitable.

Increasing the number of stores

Tesco has started to diversify and increase its stores, in order to make its services products more widely available for a larger crowd of people. This way, one doesn’t need to travel to another city or town whenever they want to shop at a Tesco. It’s enough to pop in for a quick shopping in a Tesco Express or in a Tesco Metro which was established for this exact reason.  

Key activities of Tesco

When you do a Tesco market segmentation analysis, you will find that these are the main segments that the company focuses the most on.

  • Procurement
  • Pricing
  • Marketing
  • Customer federalization
  • Diversification
  • Buying and selling consumer goods
  • Effective distribution system
  • Analyze consumer demand
  • Warehousing and logistics

The value proposition of Tesco

  • Tesco business strategy covers all segments of the market like:
  • One-stop shopping place
  • Good prices
  • Complementary services
  • Wide range presence and selection
  • Variety combined
  • 24/7 shopping experience
  • Safety

The Main Competitors of Tesco

Tesco's competitors are Sainsbury’s, ASDA, Waitrose and Morrison’s. These four companies are called the Big Four in the United Kingdom. Tesco competitors analysis shows you how over the past few years, grocery companies like Aldi and Lidl have started to grow exponentially and become strong competitors to Tesco.

The conglomerate also competes with the local convenience stores, which are slowly gaining popularity as they cater to customers based on their different tastes. The local convenience store market is highly fragmented.  According to a research done, in the U.K. grocery market leader because it has 26.9% of market share, while Tesco main competitors is Sainsbury's followed by ASDA, which have 15% and 14.1% of market share respectively.


ASDA is a British supermarket chain that is one of Tesco main competitors. The company was founded as a joint venture between the Asquith family and a Yorkshire company known as Associated Dairies back in 1949. The company was earlier a major subsidiary of Walmart until 1999 but was later brought over by Zuber and Mohsin Issa and TDR capital in 2021.

So far Asda is known to have over 635 retail locations, more than 584 of which are supermarkets. Besides being one of the top grocery company in the UK, it also operates larger format superstores, which sells clothing and furnishing in addition to groceries. ASDA's competitive strategy aims at keeping its prices low and improving its store layouts and online sales channel so it can easily revolve according to the shopper's habits.


Sainsbury is one of the top Tesco competitors in the UK. Sainsbury was founded in London England in 1869. Like Tesco, Sainsbury also has its foothold in industries such as in the logistics, wholesale and retail distributor’s space. But compared to Tesco, Sainsbury’s is said to generate over $47.3 billion less revenue. Its efforts in its marketing have led the company to become the second-largest grocery chain in the United Kingdom, it currently has 1,415 locations across the country

The company to charges a premium for grocery products, though price reduction has been an important element of its recent competitive strategy and this is why Sainsbury is tesco's biggest competitors. To increase customer engagement, Sainsbury's is experimenting with different store layouts, expanding its offering to general merchandise categories and promoting its in-store banking services. ‌‌  


Morrisons is another top contender for Tesco which is headquartered in Bradford, England. The company was founded in 1899 and is in the Hypermarket and Supercentres industry. The company has more than 492 supermarkets and has over 50 convenience stores. Morrisons operates 18 plus food manufacturing facilities, it also has eight distribution centres, and directly engages farmers to get fresh and good quality poultry, meat and produce.

Morrisons is a tesco competitor because it is working towards making improvements in its stores along with its vertically integrated structure while reducing everyday prices. The company aims in creating a more balanced approach to promotional pricing is also an important element of the strategic price review. Morrisons has recently adopted a new strict capital expenditure budget, Which is why most of the new stores opening are in the smaller convenience format.


Aldi is a top Tesco competitor and a popular German grocery chain which have its headquarters based in Essen, Germany. It operates in over 10,000 stores in 20 different countries. Aldi is one of the top discount grocers in the whole of Europe. This Tescos competitors offers low priced grocery items with a disproportionately high private label offering. Similar to Tesco marketing strategy, Aldi does not accept manufacturer coupons but does offer huge discounts on groceries. Besides that, it holds Aldi holds weekly specials on general merchandise products.


Waitrose is one of tesco's biggest competitors and another British grocery supermarket chain. The company was founded in 1908 and has its headquarters based in London, England. Like Tesco, Waitrose has a foothold in industries like logistics, wholesalers and retail distribution space. Waitrose operates in over 336 locations most of which are supermarkets. Some supermarket stores include restaurants that serve hot foods, while other locations specialize in general merchandise in addition to food.


Tesco is one of the biggest supermarket chains in the whole world because of its innovative business strategies. Tesco is a brand in itself as it has its own factories and its online shopping comes with benefits. Tesco has its own brand of mobile phones and telecommunications, besides that, it also has its petrol stations which add to the fact that tesco has been succefull in not just the grocery sector but other industries too. And these factors are what makes tesco different from competitors.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Tesco?

Tesco is one of the biggest multinational conglomerate companies in the world, that mainly focuses on grocery and general merchandise retailing.

What is Tesco's business strategy?

Tesco's main business strategy is aggressive expansion into overseas grocery markets.

What makes Tesco a successful business?

From the analysis of the 4Cs ( which are Customer Benefit, Customer Cost, Customer Communication and Convenience) marketing strategy used by Tesco.

Who are Tesco's main competitors?

Tesco main competitors are Sainsbury's, ASDA, Waitrose and Morrison's, which are often called the Big Four in the United Kingdom.

Is Tesco multinational?

Yes, Tesco is a multinational conglomerate as it is into different industries like banking, telecommunication, insurance, etc.

Who are the Tesco competitors in India?

The Tesco competitors in India are Big Bazaar, Dmart, Reliance Fresh, Spencers Retail, Hypercity, Star Bazaar, etc. as they provide groceries at cheaper prices.