Tesco can trace its roots back to 1919 when Jewish immigrant Jack Cohen began selling wartime surplus items from a market stall on the east side of London. In 1924, Cohen purchased tea from Thomas Edward Stockwell and decided to use the first two initials of Stockwell’s name and the first two letters of his own name to create the name Tesco for his company. He began to call his company Tesco starting in 1924.
During the 1950s and 1960s, Tesco began to expand tremendously, mainly through acquisitions, until it owned more than 800 locations. The company started to expand the range of products it sold during the 1960s to include household goods and clothing under the Delamare brand, and in 1974 opened its first petrol station.
Today, Tesco is an international company with stores in 11 countries. While the company pulled out of the US in 2011, they have done tremendously well in other countries, including India, Poland, and Thailand. While the company began as a UK grocer, it has since moved on to become a major department store brand that rivals Walmart in their selection of products.
Tesco is listed on the London stock exchange under the symbol: TSCO. In early 2019, the company stated that they planned to cut more than 15,000 jobs as a part of a restructuring plan.
Like many other companies, Tesco is feeling pressured by internet giant Amazon and plans to try out till-less stores where shoppers can come in, pick their items, and walk out with billing for items being tallied by a mobile phone app.
Tesco employs more than 450,000 people, with 340,000 jobs being located in the UK.