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Andrew Simms


Supermarkets in general and Tesco in particular, have grown and grown in recent years, impinging on more and more of our lives. In Tescopoly: how one shop came out on top and why it matters, Andrew Simms says that enough is enough.

Simms looks at how supermarkets have become more and more powerful, becoming able to squeeze their suppliers to get costs down -even when these suppliers are amoung the poorest people in the world. Also, as supermarkets grow and move into new areas such as pharmacy, town centres lose most of their original shops, and all towns begin to look the same.

So what can you do when you object to something so ubiquitous. Well you can go down to the pub and moan to your buddies, or you can look in detail at the problems and produce a hard hitting critique of what you find. Unfortunately, this book seemed to me to be essentially the first option - arguments rambling all over the place. Simms' is so eager to show Tesco in a bad light that his arguments lose their force. Many people might agree that the growth of out-of-town stores is a bad thing, but in this book open stores in the town centre is just as bad. Simms' seems to think that there a wonderful alternative way of shopping, but never really says what it is.

Simms does provide a pretty convincing case that supermarkets seem to think that planning laws don't apply to them, and he provides plenty of notes for those who want to follow up on what he has said. In general though, the book is unconvincing and whether or not you agree with what supermarkets are doing, I wouldn't recommend reading it.  |  Chronon Critical Points  |  Recent Science Book Reviews