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Tesco checkout

Cheggidout!It wasn’t so long ago that Tesco was an also-ran in the supermarket stakes. Sainsbury’s, Safeways, even Kwik Save gave the then orange-logoed grocer a run for its money. Come the late ’70s, the store fought back with a much-trumpeted round of price slashing, plugged with a nifty little synth ditty plus till printout percussion, wherein a mixed quartet of session singers trilled a chirpy paean to ‘today’s Tescooooo’ and our solemn duty to ‘Cheggidout! Cheggidout! Cheggidout cheggidout!’ seemingly every commercial break. From that moment, retailing behemoth status was in the bag.



  1. Adrian

    August 11, 2022 at 3:11 pm

    Tesco was doing so badly in the 1970s that at one point it considered changing its name..

  2. Richardpd

    August 11, 2022 at 10:31 pm

    My Gran must have kept the Melton Mowbray branch single handedly in business around then, as she always seemed to have their own brand products.

  3. Glenn Aylett

    August 12, 2022 at 2:43 pm

    Where I live, Tesco is the cheapest of the four traditional supermarkets and has the best customer service. Also they do electrical goods, mobile phones and clothing.
    On a more Cream note, I was in Egremont, Cumbria, today and recall when the town’s only supermarket was Fine Fare, a once common brand in the seventies. ( The supermarket is now a Herons). Apart from Fine Fare, anyone recall Walter Willson, who tended to be in smaller towns and in suburban shopping streets, Liptons, who were more major league, and Presto, once common in most larger towns.

  4. Droogie

    August 12, 2022 at 2:56 pm

    @GlennAylett I don’t recall Walter Wilson, but I do remember a chain called International who were around in the late 70’s. Their emphasis was on being cheap, and I still recall how bleak the packaging design was on their own brand products – black rubber stamp style letters on a plain white background that made you feel you were shopping in an government-run East German supermarket ( though probably quite apt for the grim 70’s.)

  5. Glenn Aylett

    August 12, 2022 at 3:30 pm

    @ Droogie, Walter Willson were more of a Northern company, who operated mid size supermarkets in smaller towns and the suburbs. I do remember International and their no frills shopping experience, probably like Aldi these days, whose first supermarket I encountered was in Bruges in 1990.
    Another one was VG Stores, who were similar to what Spar is today, operating mini marts and small supermarkets in housing estates and smaller towns with little competition.

  6. Richardpd

    August 12, 2022 at 10:47 pm

    I remember Fine Fare along with Dee Discount both became Gateway in the mid 1980s. My Dad once mentioned he was surprised they dropped a well known brand like Fine Fare.

    Later on Gateway became Somerfield, who were taken over by the Co-op before they sold off their bigger stores, mostly to Asda.

    In the past there a lot more regional supermarket chains, Heron seem to be a surviving one, along with Foltons & Booths, who have made a niche for themselves as a Northern Waitrose.

  7. Glenn Aylett

    August 13, 2022 at 11:19 am

    Hintons and Laws were familiar sights in the North East until the nineties when they were bought out.

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