retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Financial Times has an enormously entertaining - and oh so British - analysis of Tesco's troubles with the context of the broader retail business and even the history of the British empire, which you can and should read here.

An excerpt:

"Retail is not just detail. Complacent and obsessed with their own rivalry, the UK’s big supermarkets have been to slow to adapt. The traditional family has been fragmenting, increasing casual and lone dining. The economic slowdown has made shoppers thrifty. More are meanwhile prepared to order food online … Like the family, UK grocering is fissiparous."

Check it out.
KC's View:
Truth be told, I had to look up "fissiparous," a word I did not know and, to the best of my memory, had never seen before. (The definition, for those in the same boat, is "inclined to cause or undergo division into separate parts or groups.")

This is just fun reading, especially when they refer to "chief executive Sir Terry Leahy, a Liverpudlian with vision," being replaced by "Philip Clarke, a fellow Merseysider understocked with that commodity," who "bore the curse of succeeding a charismatic boss who leaves just as the market turns nasty."

To save you the trouble….according to Wikipedia, a Merseysider is a person who comes from Merseyside, defined as "a metropolitan county in North West England, with a population of 1.38 million. It encompasses the metropolitan area centred on both banks of the lower reaches of the Mersey Estuary, and comprises five metropolitan boroughs: Knowsley, St Helens, Sefton, Wirral, and the city of Liverpool. Merseyside, which was created on 1 April 1974 as a result of the Local Government Act 1972, takes its name from the River Mersey." (So, I guess, the Beatles were Merseysiders?)

I love it when I learn stuff like this. I guess I'm just a sucker for an educational experience.