Why did Tesco think Japanese people would want to buy this stuff?

The British supermarket chain Tesco is apparently the third biggest in the world, but like the second biggest (Carrefour), they have failed in Japan and are giving up. Not a big surprise when none of the other big chains are making money and apparently Aeon set out on a deliberate attempt to squeeze them out of the market, and even less of a surprise given the Aldi-like appearance of their stores in Japan and the complete lack of effort to sell to people who actually want British food. One of the bizarrest things about their attempt, however, is what British goods they choose to sell, e.g.

– Tea that is far too strong for most Japanese tastes

– Sweet stuff that I haven’t seen since I last had tea at my nan’s (orange and lemon jelly slices, ginger nut biscuits, Nice biscuits, greengage jam, fig rolls, Bourbon biscuits, shortbread biscuits)

– Madras curry sauce

I’ll miss being able to buy brown sauce for 140 yen rather than the 450 yen at most import shops, but for most daily shopping I’d miss Aeon’s cheaper and more attractive My Basket neighbourhood grocery shops more.

Should you be interested in that stuff, here’s a relevant post on my Tips for Brits in Tokyo blog:

Tesco food in Tsurukameland

1 Comment

  1. crella said,

    February 8, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    I have never seen a Tesco here, but I did go to the Carrefour in Amagasaki. It was pretty small, but I was impressed with the wine selection (huge!) and the bakery. The bakery didn’t have a lot of variety, but the bread was baked by a couple of French guys and a Japanese staff and it was pretty good. As far as Amagasaki goes, it was right next door to Costco, perhaps not the best choice of location. Hooking up with Aeon might not have been the best decision either….the Amagasaki mall is full of stuff you can get anywhere.


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