Tesco plc TSCO The competition and Markets Authority has given its blessing, or unconditional final clearance, as they say in the city, to Tesco’s proposed merger with Booker Group. Completion of the merger is expected in March after shareholders meetings in February.
I can’t help thinking that Tesco will rue the day when management decided that this was the way forward and perhaps the only solution it could find to try and save the day. It indicated that management had continued to lose touch and failed to realise that retail as we had known it over the last 150 years or so, since Mr. Sainsbury opened his first shop and Mr Marks opened his stall on Leeds Kirkgate market, is dying a slow death. The first nail in the coffin came from the planners who decided it was better to force the major retailers out of city centres and replace them with charity shops. It also meant that the big developers could then legally bribe local authorities by building new by passes for them free of charge so that shoppers who had gone into city centres by bus, could shop in soulless new shopping complexes and malls which nobody wanted in the first place. and which they could only get to by car,. thus enabling local politicians and other jobsworthies to grab themselves a headline or two by screaming how bus services had been decimated and people were going out of town to shop.
The whole shopping experience became unpleasant and customers retaliated by staying at home, with the car in the garage, the central heating on and most important of all, the computer on. The second nail in the coffin had arrived and it was called Amazon. The days is not now far off when it will be, “pop down to the Amazon pet and get us a pack of Tetleys and a bag of nuts, will yer.” If Walmart is wilting under the onslaught of shopping by computer, what chance is there for Tesco whose response to the internet age was to announce it was stopping delivery to Greece of clothing and other items bought on line.
Drax Group DRX has suffered an unplanned outage on its rail unloading facility at Drax Power Station. Whilst it is anybody’s guess I think that is supposed to mean that the trains have broken down or stopped running or that the unloading facility itself has crashed. Any road up as they say in the nether regions of Selby, we are not educated enough to be told exactly what an outage is but it is going to last until some time in January and it is going to cost a pretty packet, about a 10m reduction in EBITDA for 2017.