Grab your purses the Germans are coming

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Every little helps. Well it certainly will do now for supermarket giant Tesco, after the business recorded a £6.4bn loss – the biggest ever suffered by a UK retailer.

I don’t know about you, but I was surprised by the announcement. Yes, I’d read the stories about how it may have been ‘fiddling the books’, but in my neck of the woods at least, there’s still a Tesco on every corner. Or Tesco Express, Tesco Metro, Tesco food bank. Well, not yet. Though that might not be a bad idea...

And it’s still the place The Boy and I go to do our weekly shop. At least when we don’t have the time, inclination or, as is often the case at the end of the month, funds to exercise our right to be supermarket snobs and buy ‘not just any groceries, M&S groceries.’

So why are people turning off from Tesco? An ‘erosion in competitiveness’ their chief exec Dave Lewis claimed this week.

That ‘cos other people are selling things cheaper these days, Sir? As I’m sure Mr Lewis is aware, we’ve become savvier shoppers in recent years. A tough economic climate forced most of us to become more frugal. Hence the rise of discount shops like Aldi and Lidl.

While Tesco has been in the wars this week, these cheaper establishments have been celebrating growth. Proving we’re happy to do it like the Germans, both European chains have seen their share in the market go up, with Aldi – who are celebrating their 25th year in the UK – jumping ahead of Waitrose to become the sixth largest supermarket chain in the country.

And they’re looking to expand further, with plans to introduce more convenience-style stores in the capital. So will yours truly be tempted to make the move over to the cheap side, if and when Aldi make their way to central London?

Aside from purchasing a pack of their tried and tested smoked salmon every Christmas (two snob points now, if anyone is keeping score) I’ve had little experience taste testing their offerings.

Love their adverts, though – the ‘I like gin’ grandma being a particular favourite, closely followed by the ‘but I don’t like boys’ little girl – so maybe that’s enough to give it a go. And news that their spirits have recently won industry prizes, beating off competition from some of the world’s most expensive drink manufacturers, hasn’t hurt either. In fact, I can raise a glass to that.

Sorry Tesco, that could be another customer you’ve lost...