Tesco is a British multinational grocery and general merchandise retailer with headquarters in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, England, United Kingdom. It is the second-largest retailer in the world measured by profits and third-largest retailer in the world measured by revenues. It has stores in 12 countries across Asia, Europe and North America and is the grocery market leader in the UK, Ireland, Hungary, Malaysia and Thailand.
Tesco was founded in 1919 by Jack Cohen as a group of market stalls. The Tesco name first appeared in 1924, after Cohen bought a shipment of tea from T. E. Stockwell and combined those initials with the first two letters of his surname. The company expanded rapidly, reaching 100 stores by 1939 and 200 by 1947.
In 1956, Cohen registered the trade name “TESCO”, and opened the first Tesco shop in Burnley, Lancashire. By 1961 he had over 100 Tesco shops across the country. In 1994, Tesco launched its UK home shopping service, which was followed by its bank (Tesco Personal Finance) and Internet shopping service (Tesco Direct) in 1996.
The company floated on the London Stock Exchange as “Tesco plc” in 1947 and grew rapidly during the 1970s. In 1979 it acquired a majority stake in Associated Dairies; this gave it control of more than 600 Supermarkets across the UK.
Who is Tesco owned by?
Tesco is publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange under the symbol TSCO.L, but it is majority owned by a group of institutional investors including some of Britain’s largest pension funds.