With the changes to the legal profession now only a few months away in October 11, the fear factor has always revolved around so called “Tesco Law”. Will the giant of the supermarkets come in to the legal profession and bulldoze their way into the legal services market wiping out all of the competition along the way? Well the good news is, after a trip to my local Tesco supermarket, I am certain that you have nothing to fear.
I am lucky in my home town of Nailsea to have a Waitrose as well as a Tesco. One day over the Bank Holiday weekend I had to go into both stores in quick succession. On entering the Waitrose store a member of staff smiled in my general direction, the aisles are nice and wide, an air of calm sat over the whole store. I was able to be quickly served by staff at the delicatessen counter and any restocking of shelves was going on around me but did not interfere in any way, shape or form with my shopping experience. When I needed to find something I was personally taken to the item in question. Finally, the checkout experience was simple and painless.
In a false state of calm I walked down to the other end of the High Street to Tesco. What a difference. Shelf stackers were everywhere, making it hard to get to any of the shelves without having to wait or move people. My wife dared to ask if there was any chance of her taking something from the shelf and was met with the confrontational response of “Well I have to load the shelves you know!” Lovely customer service!
Rather than the staff pushing trolleys being very careful to keep out of my way I am completely serious when I say they actually deliberately seem to drive the trolleys at speed into the path of oncoming customers. It almost seems to be a game amongst staff to see who can cause the most customers to jump out of their way for fear of damage to their vital organs. I was utterly amazed how aggressive all of the staff seemed to be towards their customers. At the checkout after the now eco- friendly but infuriating “do you want carrier bags” to which I always have to stop myself replying “No that’s fine I will levitate the shopping home” (sometimes I forget the reusable ones) the food and drink was thrown down with as much haste as possible. I was delighted to get out of the shop as quickly as possible.
So do we really need to worry about Tesco Law? Tesco has been at the top of its’ game for many years. I wonder if Sir Terry Leahy is the next Tony Blair, leaving the ship just before the many problems that have been covered over rise to the surface. If my shopping experience is anything to go by that is certainly the case. So for Tesco my advice is to work on your core supermarket service offering before even considering moving into the legal profession. We already have enough businesses offering dreadful legal services (not any of my clients I hasten to add), we do not need any more of those. However, Waitrose Law, now that could be very interesting.
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Author: Nick Jervis