Sunday, April 30, 2006

Unmaking Of A Retailer

When a company starts attacking its customers, its days are numbered - here's a Brit example.

The Tesco supermarket chain achieved market dominance by focusing remorselessly on its customers - single professionals, retirees, working mothers, etc.

Now it's switched to policing, not serving, them (my ellipsis):

A deer hunter who took his photographs to (Tesco) for processing was shocked to find himself reported to police.

Tesco has no ban on photographs of shooting and its privacy policy says: "We will never pass your personal data to anyone else", but it contacted the police without telling (him).

Staff deemed photographs of him with his gun and a deer he had shot "inappropriate", although he had broken no animal cruelty or firearms laws. Although the sport is legal, Tesco gave his details to officers who questioned him for several hours.

...he was "utterly shocked and stunned" when two policemen arrived at his house on a Sunday morning with a set of prints given to them by Tesco.

The Tesco management team is broken - alienating customers cuts revenues and paying inspectors to check photos for "inappropriateness" bloats overhead, since photo processing is fully automated.

So we're dumping its stock & won't shop there again.