Monday, 1 September 2014

Are Tesco set for more pain?

Tesco have issued a second profit warning, the share price has taken a hit and the new chide executive has cancelled his holiday to start a month early.

Are we seeing the fall if the retail giant?

I have made my feelings clear in this blog about Tesco's major failings in respect if their customers. They try to be all things to all men and end up doing none if it well. In the case of the profit warnings, I think that we are seeing stock market tactics and a chief executive that wants to lay a lot if the blame at his predecessors - "look at the mess I inherited" - before a turnaround that looks oh so much better when/if it happens.

We are still seeing it with the banks, where they report trading figures that don't add up to the performance. There are always hundred of millions of pounds put aside for potential future bad debts and misselling claims. For me, this is double accounting, as the bad debts and claims are accounted for in the present but don't happen until the future. At a certan point, the banks won't have these future potential losses to put in their balance sheet and presumably some of the money they have put aside will have to reappear for losses and claims that didn't materialise.

Things aren't always as accounts make then seem

Tesco's next step is to look at their operation and decide where they want to be experts, and where they want to step back from. Offering opticians, pharmacy, tech experts, caf├ęs, mobile phones, etc on top of their wide-ranging food offering is diluting the quality of service and advice they can offer their customers.

Online and 'Click & Collect' can provide answers

Some services Tesco will want to be able to offer in every store, but some have a better foothold online, where the expertise can be pooled and not spread so thinly. Tesco had a functioning website and a reasonably good Click & Collect offering, so these can take the strain of the expertise, whilst try get back to basics in the areas they can lead on in store. Great customer service will never go out if fashion.

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