spotCampaigns

spotOrganisations

spotArguments for socialism

spotPeople

spotInternational

spotEvents

spotAround the UK


All keywords


All Campaigns subcategories:

Anti-capitalism

Anti-fascist

Anti-racism

Anti-war

Asylum

Black and Asian

Children

CNWP

Corporate crime

Disability

Education

Election campaigns

Environment

EU

Finance

Food

Gender Recognition Act

Health and safety

Health and welfare

Housing

Human Rights

LGBT Pride

Local government

Local services

Low pay

Migration

Nationalisation

New workers party

NHS

Pensions

Post Office

Poverty

Privatisation

Public Services

Socialism

Socialist

Sport

Stop the slaughter of Tamils

Students

The state

Transport

TUSC

Welfare rights

Women

* Workplace and TU campaigns

Youth


Workplace and TU campaigns keywords:

35-hour week (21)

AUT (7)

Aer Lingus (6)

Agency workers (50)

Airport (51)

Amicus (53)

Argos (14)

Aslef (84)

BAA (2)

BBC (167)

BMW (26)

BT (50)

Besna (18)

Bin workers (74)

Blacklisting (105)

Bloc (3)

Bosch (2)

British Airways (75)

British Airways (75)

Burslem 12 (9)

Bus workers (75)

CWU (329)

Cadbury (7)

Cadbury-Schweppes (3)

Call Centres (18)

Car workers (42)

Care worker (12)

Care workers (72)

Civil Service (218)

Classroom assistants (8)

Cleaners (125)

Clyde (5)

Coastguards (7)

Compulsory redundancy (9)

Construction (247)

Construction workers (160)

Corus (37)

Council workers (146)

Crossrail (12)

DVLA (15)

DWP (173)

Dockers (23)

Docks (8)

Drivers (203)

EPIU (4)

Electricians (70)

FBU (227)

Firefighters (220)

Ford (104)

Fujitsu (15)

GMB (238)

Gate Gourmet (7)

General Motors (11)

Glaxo Smith Kline (1)

Health and safety (79)

Heinz (6)

Honda (19)

JCB (14)

JIB (7)

JJB Sports (4)

Jaguar (16)

Jane Norman (1)

Jarvis (9)

Jobcentre (50)

Jobs (1412)

Journalists (74)

LOR (15)

Lecturers (94)

Linamar (40)

Lindsey (41)

Lindsey Oil Refinery (29)

Local government (244)

London underground (144)

Lucas Aerospace (5)

Manufacturing (56)

Metro (36)

Metronet (13)

Milford Haven (8)

Miners (172)

NASUWT (53)

NUJ (64)

NUT (356)

Natfhe (10)

Nurses (131)

Oilc (4)

Outsourcing (60)

PCS (897)

POA (87)

People's Charter (1)

Peugeot (8)

Pfizer (8)

Port workers (4)

Postal dispute (27)

Postal workers (139)

Printers (2)

Prison officers (53)

RCN (25)

RMT (728)

Railworkers (10)

Redundancies (119)

Redundancy (34)

Refinery (36)

Remploy (51)

Reps (52)

Rover (31)

Saltend (20)

Seafarers (9)

Shelter (42)

Shipyard (7)

Shop Stewards (243)

Siemens (3)

Single status (30)

Sita (6)

Social workers (16)

Sodexo (8)

Stagecoach (26)

Staythorpe (1)

Steel (91)

Strike (3051)

Sunday trading (1)

Supermarket (35)

TGWU (58)

TSSA (47)

Teachers (476)

Textile (8)

Thomas Cook (3)

Total (16)

Toyota (1)

Trade Union Freedom Bill (4)

Trade union (584)

Trade unions (395)

Train drivers (31)

Tube Lines (5)

Tube workers (49)

Tubelines (3)

Twinings (2)

UCATT (29)

UCU (212)

Unfair dismissal (15)

Unions (948)

Unison (971)

Unison witchhunt (5)

Unite (835)

Usdaw (133)

Vauxhall (48)

Vestas (26)

Visteon (92)

Volkswagen (7)

Waterford Crystal (1)

Wedgwood (1)

Whipps Cross (61)

facility time (9)

Supermarket


Highlight keywords  |Print this articlePrint this article
From: The Socialist issue 816, 25 June 2014: 10 July: All out to end poverty pay

Search site for keywords: Supermarket - Market - Tesco - Profit - Pay

Supermarket price wars

For Real Jobs not Workfare - Youth Fight for Jobs protest outside Tesco, photo Suzanne Beishon

For Real Jobs not Workfare - Youth Fight for Jobs protest outside Tesco, photo Suzanne Beishon   (Click to enlarge)

Iain Dalton, Usdaw shop workers' union member

In March Sainsbury's posted the first drop in like-for-like sales in nine years, the Co-operative group went into meltdown, and Morrisons announced 176 million in pre-tax losses for 2013.

Over the last few years high street names such as Woolworths, Borders, MFI, Comet, JJB Sports, Zaavi and others have all disappeared from the high street, taking thousands of retail jobs with them.

Despite the doom and gloom headlines, retail industry as a whole remains profitable, particularly the big supermarkets. Much of Morrisons' losses this year were due to 900 million worth of one-off write-downs - indeed shareholders' dividends went up! Despite Tesco talking of a 23.5% drop in profits for the half year to last October, it still made a whopping 1.39 billion over that period.

Of course, employers are always out to maximise profit. So despite still being hugely profitable Tesco over the last two years has launched an assault on staff terms and conditions, raising the pension age, introducing 'Ideal Scheduling', where workers' hours are fitted to store needs, as well as driving down pay and conditions in distribution. Now Morrisons has also announced a cull of 2,600 'middle managers'.

End of the Superstore?

But lately the growth of the big stores has slowed down. The big four chains have turned to the convenience sector, where there are 3,000 convenience stores run by Tesco, while Sainsbury's run 523. Such shops are not affected by the Sunday trading act, and therefore can open when and for as long as they like.

Another major trend over the last few years has been the rapid growth of the discounters, particularly Aldi and Lidl. Since first opening a store in 1990, Aldi now has over 500 across the UK, and at the time of writing is recording a growth rate of 33.5%.

This has been achieved by ruthlessly squeezing most costs - no frills for customers and Aldi is among those who pay farmers the lowest price for milk.

While the discounters grow, the big supermarkets' market share is squeezed. Tesco's share of the UK grocery market dropped below 29% for the first time in a decade. This has sparked a price-cutting war as Tesco and Morrisons try to arrest falling sales and market share and Sainsbury's have just announced a joint venture with Netto.

The other major growth is in the online sector and 'dark' stores, those stores laid out purely for picking online orders. Almost all the major retailers offer some sort of online shopping now, and the floor space of such 'dark stores' is set to double over 2014.

An estimated 15% of purchases in the four days running up to Christmas 2013 were made online. In the next five years the market is set to double to 13 billion of sales per year.

This doesn't mean the end of superstores and hypermarkets. They still accounted for the bulk of sales in the food and grocery market, over 70 billion in 2013, and are set to grow to 80 billion by 2018. What has changed is that these are no longer expanding at the same pace.

Despite the difficulties of the big supermarket chains, they are all still highly profitable, accounting for 8% of the UK's GDP with sales of around 300 billion a year.

Socialism

Under the system of capitalism, production will always be organised on the basis of profit. Pay, working conditions, good customer service, the environment - all other concerns are secondary to that of maximising profit.

Socialists believe that the economy should be run in the interests of ordinary people. The vast amounts of data from loyalty cards, staff surveys, and production plans within certain supermarket departments - all currently used to maximise profits - could be used to ensure we can democratically co-ordinate the production of goods and services to meet the needs of society.

If the supermarkets were brought into public ownership, then the wealth we produce could be used to ensure improvements in our living standards as well as reducing the working day.







Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999