23+ Tesco Statistics, Facts & Trends

Tesco is one of the UK’s “big four” supermarkets and retains the largest market share of any grocer in the UK. 

If you want to know how Tesco has managed to reign supreme, plus other up-to-date Tesco statistics, facts, and trends, you’ve come to the right place! 

5 Key Tesco Statistics & Facts

Here are some key facts and figures that offer an insight into Tesco’s current market standing:

  • Tesco operates around 7,000 shops worldwide, 4,000 of which are based in the UK. 
  • Tesco employs more than 420,000 colleagues. 
  • Tesco revenue rose by £1.3 billion in the last financial year. 
  • Tesco’s online sales grew 48%. 
  • Tesco is the fifteenth most valuable retail brand worldwide. 

For a more in-depth look into Tesco, from their inception, challenges, and trends, keep on reading!

23 Tesco Statistics & Facts

Tesco Statistics

The History Of Tesco 

Chart Tesco’s rise from a market stall in Hackney to one of the world’s leading grocery retailers. 

1. Tesco First Made A Profit Of £1

When Tesco was founded in 1919, it was nothing more than a stall in the East End of London selling war-surplus groceries. And, on his first day of trading, founder Jack Cohen made a profit of just £1. 

However, once Cohen opened his first shop, business boomed. Now, profits are consistently high, and revenue increased by £1.3 billion pounds in the 2019/2020 financial year. 

2. Where Tesco Got Its Name

Jack Cohen came up with the Tesco name we all know today after he purchased a shipment of tea from T. E. Stockwell. He combined the T. E. S. initials with the first two letters of his own surname “Cohen”, and the Tesco brand was born. 

3. By 1939, Tesco Had Over 100 Shops 

The first Tesco shop opened in Burnt Oak, Barnet in September of 1931, and it didn’t take long to take off. After just eight years, there were more than 100 Tesco stores across the UK. 

The expansion has continued apace ever since, through a combination of organic growth and acquisitions. 

4. Tesco Was Listed On The London Stock Exchange Almost 30 Years After Its Founding

In spite of its popularity, Tesco wasn’t listed on the London Stock Exchange until 1947. However, given the fact that Tesco started off as a market stall in 1919, the timeline is more impressive than it sounds. 

Tesco Market Share And Popularity Statistics

Tesco Market Share And Popularity Statistics

Tesco shops are so pervasive in the UK that some areas of the country are described as “Tesco Towns.” Here’s more information on the prevalence of Tesco stores in the UK and beyond. 

5. Tesco Towns 

As of 2017, Liverpool had more Tesco shops than any other city centre in the UK.

However, the retailer has more of a dominant presence in smaller areas that have come to be known as “Tesco Towns,” including Inverness, Perth, Southall, and Truro. Tesco has more than 50% of the market share in these locations. 

6. The Different Types Of Tesco 

There are currently five different types of Tesco shops, including the largest Tesco Extra stores, Tesco Superstores, Tesco Metros, Tesco Express, and unbranded One Stop shops.

All sell food and drink, while some also stock clothing, alcohol, homeware, and more. 

7. Convenience Rules

While the larger Tesco Extra shops were initially the retailer’s biggest money-makers, it is the smaller convenience stores that have seen a notable rise in sales recently.

In fact, Tesco Express and One Stop shops reported growth of 9.9% in the first quarter of 2020. 

8. Tesco’s Online Operations Grew By 48% In 2020

Tesco launched its online store in 2000, allowing customers to shop its wide variety of merchandise for collection and delivery. This online platform proved to be invaluable for Tesco during the coronavirus crisis of 2020. 

As restrictions were imposed on the UK, online supermarket shopping became a lifeline for vulnerable people in lockdown. Resultantly, online sales increased by an incredible 48% between March and May. This drove a spike in overall sales of 8%.  

9. One Pound In Every Seven Spent In The UK Went To Tesco

When Tesco was at the peak of its popularity in around 2011, it was estimated that one pound in even seven spent in the UK was spent either in a Tesco shop or on the Tesco website. 

However, in recent years, Tesco has been losing ground to discount retailers like Lidl and Aldi. 

Tesco Logistic Statistics

Tesco Logistic Statistics

This is how Tesco keeps things running smoothly through sophisticated logistical planning. 

10. An Impressive Fleet

Consisting of approximately 450 rigid lorries, 1,300 tractors, and 4,000 trailers, Tesco’s UK fleet is a well-oiled machine.

In operation up to seven days a week, each vehicle contributes to the transportation of Tesco merchandise to stores countrywide. 

11. An Environmentally-Friendly Network

In 2020, Tesco began adopting electric delivery vans, starting with 30 in the Greater London area. The plan is for the delivery fleet to be fully electric by 2028. 

Continuing its commitment to a more sustainable future, the supermarket giant also began a rollout of 2,400 charging points to 600 stores, for customers with electric vehicles. 

12. Rapid Expansion 

To meet the sudden rise in demand for home delivery in 2020, Tesco recruited 4,000 new drivers.

Many of these drivers were assigned vehicles that previously would have been reserved for assessments and other needs, as home delivery became a top priority for the brand. 

13. Tesco Does Not Ship Internationally

After a failed foray into international clothes delivery in 2011, Tesco discontinued the service. So, consumers in countries without Tesco stores are no longer able to purchase clothes from the retailer.  

Tesco’s Worldwide Operations

Tesco’s Worldwide Operations

Tesco operates in different countries across the world. These are the latest facts and figures on which countries have the most Tesco locations and how well they do. 

14. There Are Around 3,000 Tesco Stores Outside The UK

While Tesco dominates in the UK, 3,000 of its 7,000 stores are international. In fact, it’s the only British-based supermarket chain with operations overseas.

With locations in 11 other countries including France, Hungary, and Japan, it is a household name in nations across the world.  

15. Tesco Didn’t Take Off Everywhere

Tesco also attempted to infiltrate the US grocery market in 2006. However, it withdrew in 2013, having failed to make its mark among the country’s dominant supermarket chains, including Walmart and Target. Growth continues elsewhere. 

Tesco Employment Stats

Tesco Employment Statistics

Keep reading to find out how many people Tesco employs and how they are treated on the job. 

16. Declining Employment 

In recent years, Tesco’s employment figures consistently stayed at around the 450,000 to 460,000 mark. That is, until an 8.92% decline in 2020 dragged that figure down to 423,000.

Since this decline is directly related to mass layoffs carried out in response to the coronavirus crisis, it is possible that the figure could bounce back as pandemic restrictions ease. 

17. International Employment Figures 

Even though the majority of Tesco’s shops are found in the UK, around a quarter of Tesco employees are international.

This has to do with the fact that most overseas stores are larger superstores, while the UK has a significant number of convenience stores that require fewer workers on the shop floor. 

18. How Much Are Tesco Workers Paid? 

Since October 2020, the basic hourly rate for Tesco staff has been £9.30, almost 60p higher than the minimum wage for over-25s. Prior to this, low-wage staff were paid £9 per hour. 

In addition to a recent pay rise, all of Tesco’s store employees are also paid time and a quarter for all Sunday and bank holiday shifts that they work. 

19. Tesco Employee Benefits

Tesco employees are issued with a Colleague Clubcard after three months of working with the company.

This gives them access to a whole range of benefits, including 10% off Tesco groceries, 20% off insurance with Tesco Bank, and the option to buy Tesco shares through the Buy As You Earn scheme. 

Challenges To The Tesco Brand 

Challenges To The Tesco Brand 

While Tesco is popular, it is not universally loved. So, what challenges does the brand face?

20. How “Every Little Helps” Has Helped

 In the early 1990s, Tesco was looking for ways to attract more shoppers and become the market leader we know it as today. The solution that they settled on was a new slogan, one that would present the brand in a warmer, more loveable light. 

“Every Little Helps” was coined in 1993, and helped Tesco to take over Sainsbury’s as the UK’s grocery market leader.  

21. Competition Controversy

Some people, particularly in Tesco Towns like Worcester, view Tesco in an unfavorable light. They believe Tesco monopolizes the market and stifles competition. 

However, the brand’s reputation for selling a wide range of affordable products means that public opinion remains largely positive. 

Tesco Emerging Market Statistics

Learn more about how Tesco is expanding its operations. 

22. Expanding Online Capacity

Tesco rapidly ramped up its online capacity in 2020 to meet the increased demand for home delivery. With its newly appointed delivery drivers, Tesco was able to increase the 600,000 delivery slots it used to offer every week to 1.3 million. 

23. Clubcard Prices

As a way of rewarding more loyal customers, Tesco introduced Clubcard Prices in September, 2020. Thousands of in-store products are discounted exclusively for Clubcard holders, so that when they scan their card at the register, the Clubcard Price is automatically applied. 

And, since the Clubcard scheme is free to join, Clubcard Prices are available to all eligible customers. Shoppers can apply for a Tesco Clubcard online. 

To learn more, you can also see my guide on the Tesco price match policy. Additionally, if you want to learn more about retail companies, you can see our page where we cover retail companies and the services they provide.


Tesco is one of the biggest names in supermarket retail in the UK and across the world. It is where it is today because of a commitment to value and an ability to adapt to the changing times. So, in spite of the controversy that sometimes surrounds the brand, it is likely to remain a powerhouse in the years to come.  

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of QuerySprout.com.

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