British supermarket group Tesco is one of the world’s leading grocery and general merchandising retailers. The company is the UK’s largest retailer by both sales and domestic market share, with profits in excess of £2 billion.

Tesco currently holds a 30% share of the UK grocery market, accounting for 14.3% of all retail sales in Britain, or £1 in every £7 spent in UK stores.

Tesco specialises primarily in food and drink with its Value and Finest ranges, but has also become a major player in a range of non-food markets including consumer electricals, clothing, financial services, telecoms, fuel, internet services, music downloads and retailing and renting DVDs and CDs.

Tesco Departments

Visit the Tesco main site or browse by departments below.


Tesco was founded in 1919 by Jack Cohen as a grocery stall in the east end of London . The Tesco brand first appeared in 1924, but it wasn’t until 1929 when the first Tesco store opened for business in Edgware, Middlesex. Fast forward 70 years and there are more than 2,100 outlets in the UK alone.

UK Operations

In the UK, Tesco operates six different store formats, each distinguished by size and the range of products sold.

  • Tesco Superstores – Tesco superstores are the company’s standard store format. These large supermarkets stock and sell all groceries along with a large range of non-food products. They also offer an in-store pharmacy.
  • Tesco Extra – Tesco Extra stores are the retailer’s large out-of-town hypermarkets (second in size behind superstores) which stock nearly all of Tesco's product ranges.
  • Tesco Metro – Metro stores are medium-sized stores (sized between Tesco superstores and Tesco Express stores) that offer a range of food lines.
  • Tesco Express – Express stores are convenience shops that are mainly located on Esso petrol station forecourts. Most of their stock consists of food, with an emphasis on higher-margin products alongside everyday essentials.
  • Tesco Homeplus – Homeplus stores offer all of Tesco's ranges, except food, in warehouse-style units based in retail parks. These large units feature an Order and Collect desk where customers can purchase and collect most items without delay.
  • One Stop – One Stop stores are the very smallest Tesco stores. These stores work on a different pricing to all the other store formats and are also distinguished by their later opening hours.

Global Operations

Tesco boasts a global store portfolio of over 1,800 stores. Besides the UK, the company operates stores in France, China, the United States, Poland, Republic of Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, Czech Republic, South Korea, Slovakia, Thailand and Turkey .

Online Operation

Tesco runs the world's largest grocery home-shopping service, Tesco.com. The site was formally launched in 2000 - six years after Tesco first began operating on the internet.

Consumer goods, telecommunications and financial services are also provided via the internet.

Tesco Direct, the supermarket's catalogue/internet service, was added to the retailer’s portfolio in 2007. Customers can browse the Tesco Direct catalogue or go online to purchase non-food goods ranging from home electricals, toys and furniture to sports equipment, jewellery and even bathroom suites.

Tesco Personal Finance

Tesco Personal Finance is the banking arm of the Tesco plc. The business was previously run as a joint venture with the Royal Bank of Scotland, but in July 2008 Tesco paid £950 million to acquire the bank’s 50% share in the company.

Financial products on offer include loans, credit cards, savings accounts, mortgages, and several types of insurance, including car, home, life, dental and travel cover.

Tesco Clubcard

Tesco is one of only two UK supermarkets to offer its customers a loyalty card-scheme (the other being Sainsbury’s). Introduced in 1995, Tesco's ‘Clubcard’ branded loyalty scheme is now the number one loyalty card in the UK, with around 13 million active Clubcard holders.

Every £1 spent in a Tesco store, online at Tesco.com or through Tesco Petrol, earns customers one Clubcard point. Shoppers can also collect points by paying with a Tesco Credit Card, or by using Tesco Mobile, Tesco Broadband, selected Tesco Personal Finance products or through Clubcard partners, Avis and E.ON.

Each point is worth 1p in-store when redeemed, or 4p when used with Clubcard deals on holidays, day trips, etc. Points can also be used to rack up Airmiles, or converted into coupons.