Tesco’s crisis: A hard rain

Coming to a high street near you

OF ALL the dark days that Tesco has seen recently, September 22nd was the blackest. That was when Britain’s biggest grocer—and the world’s third-largest retailer—confessed that it had overstated its already dismal profits for the first half of its fiscal year. They were £850m ($1.4 billion), not £1.1 billion, as Tesco had said in August. Its share price has slumped by about 15% since the disclosure. Credit-rating agencies have put its debt on watch for a possible downgrade.Tesco’s accounting fiasco (see article) follows a series of profit warnings and the ousting in July of its boss, Philip Clarke. His successor, Dave Lewis, has promised “a comprehensive independent investigation” and suspended four executives, including the chief of the company’s British business, its biggest unit.Serious questions are being asked about how such a huge, established company could get into such a mess. Do its directors know too little about selling groceries? None of the ten…

Link to article: www.economist.com/news/business/21620228-even-if-british-grocers-accounting-scandal-soon-forgotten-its-failure-protect-itself?fsrc=rss|bus

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