retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Bloomberg has a story about Philip Clarke, who takes over as CEO of Tesco next week with the retirement of Sir Terry Leahy, suggesting that Clarke faces considerable challenges at the world’s third-biggest retailer. Among them:

Stabilizing the competitive situation in the UK, where Tesco has seen some slippage of late, with gains being made by Sainsbury and William Morrison Supermarkets.

Convincing consumers and investors that Tesco can grow its non-food businesses, which it has been trying to do with the introduction of financial services, used car dealerships and beauty parlors.

Figuring out what to do in the US, where the company’s Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market chain has not been a critical or commercial success ... though the company seems determined to make a go of it, expanding from Arizona, Nevada and Southern California into Northern California.
KC's View:
What’s the over-under on when Clarke gets knighted? It happened to Ian MacLaurin, it happened to Terry Leahy ... and short of an utter disaster, you have to figure that it’s going to happen to Clarke.