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People walk out of the Alpha Supermarket under which Tesco products will be stocked in Karachi.— Reuters
People walk out of the Alpha Supermarket under which Tesco products will be stocked in Karachi.— Reuters

Britain's biggest retailer Tesco will stock its products at a Pakistani supermarket chain, a Tesco official said on Thursday, dipping its toes in a country of nearly 200 million with rising consumer spending and a growing middle class.

Tesco has been expanding rapidly in emerging markets to bolster sluggish growth in western Europe and is among a growing band of companies attracted by Pakistan's fast-growing consumer market, encouraged by the highest economic growth since 2008 and improved security.

“We have agreed on a wholesale partnership with Alpha Supermarkets in Pakistan, under which Tesco products will be stocked at two of its stores,” Jared Lebel, head of new market development at Tesco, told Reuters.

A billboard displayed at the Alpha Supermarket under which Tesco products will be stocked in Karachi.— Reuters
A billboard displayed at the Alpha Supermarket under which Tesco products will be stocked in Karachi.— Reuters

He said that Limestone Private Limited, which owns the Alpha Superstores chain, planned to open 50 smaller express stores and four Alpha stores stocking Tesco products within the next three years.

“We are excited about Pakistan as a market,” Lebel said. “A big factor in coming to Pakistan is rising consumer spending.”

A spokesman for Tesco in London said: “We're looking forward to seeing how customers respond.”

Fauzia Khuhro, head of business development at Limestone, told Reuters that Tesco products would hit its shelves in about 10 days.

“Alpha Supermarkets will be the only retailer in Pakistan that stocks Tesco private-label products,” Khuhro said. “We will offer a complete range of Tesco product categories, from food and non-food items to frozen and fresh foods.”

Tesco's partnership with Alpha Supermarkets was announced by British High Commissioner Thomas Drew and Limestone at a press briefing in Karachi on Tuesday.

Comments (35) Closed

Saif Zulfiqar Feb 17, 2017 01:42pm

Welcome to Pakistan. The big market of 200 million.

Princess_of_DHUMP Feb 17, 2017 02:01pm

Another supermarket. Fake symbols of prosperity

Sindhi_in_Sindh Feb 17, 2017 02:19pm

Interesting development. However, local chains (such as Imtiaz and Chase) have already captured a large chunk of Karachi's retail space.

sABIR Feb 17, 2017 02:25pm


Papa Feb 17, 2017 02:49pm

Good for super rich.

Not Again Feb 17, 2017 03:20pm

Good quality food at affordable prices. Welcome Tesco

Ijaz Feb 17, 2017 03:25pm

Very bad news for Pakistani farmers.

Bittertruth Feb 17, 2017 03:43pm

This is how local manufacturers vanish and international brands flourish. Pakistani money flowing in foreign bank accounts.

Imtiaz Feb 17, 2017 03:55pm

A market of 200 million yet we don't have a movie industry to match or a local car brand? Are we to consume foreign brands only?

kash Feb 17, 2017 04:02pm

This is good news, I would purchase Tesco products in Pakistan. However, would Tesco still charge the same UK prices for staple diet items i.e bread, milk, tomato tins etc.

Ashfaq KHan Feb 17, 2017 04:21pm

Tesco must open at least two outlets in Islamabad as soon as possible.

mansoor mubeen Feb 17, 2017 04:25pm

what is the impact of big retailers on the economy ? one walmart in united states is stated to shut the doors of 4500 small and medium retail outlets in the vicinity.. no body knows exactly one big imtiaz store causes the same effect in pakistan. instead of allowing big and bigger retailers to get hold in the domestic market, first a comprehensive study should be made about the real economic impact on scientific basis, involving universities, and regulatory bodies.

akram Feb 17, 2017 04:32pm

@Ijaz tesco does sell some Pakistani produce here in the UK, like Pakistani Rice and other Pakistani products. So its not necessarily bad news for our farmers.

kumar Feb 17, 2017 04:37pm

Tesco products are expensive, you will get cheaper in other local market, i don't think it will help Pakistan retain market.

arsalan kamal Feb 17, 2017 05:16pm

While supermarkets bring convenience for the consumer there are huge downsides that we should carefully consider before jumping head long into this next stage of consumerism. Supermarkets destroy the small retailers who cannot compete on economies of scale. Once they have an established stronghold supermarkets them dictate terms to suppliers who have no choice but to take margin cut after cut because the small retail market has disappeared. This kills off a lot of small suppliers. The supermarkets also generate huge mountains of waste but accepting only perfectly shaped veg (that taste like cardboard by the way) plus the air/road/rail/sea miles on their product are another major factor in the ecological degradation. Development is a good thing but policy makers should ensure that it is sustainable and good for society in the long run.

Iftikhar Husain Feb 17, 2017 05:25pm

This is a good news Tesco is the leading super market of UK providing good products for Asian customers.

Khan Feb 17, 2017 06:09pm

@Papa I think you read it wrong .. they're talking about TESCO not Waitrose. here in UK they're rated in this order from least expensive to most 1. Aldi & Lidle 2. ASDA (Walmart) 3. Morrisons 4. Tesco 5. Sainsburys 6 Waitrose

However, if they're selling own brands only then according to 2016 data Waitrose was least expensive, surprisingly.

Waaris Feb 17, 2017 06:20pm

I am sure Tesco will not be disappointed.

Arslan Feb 17, 2017 06:36pm

I like Tesco. If I can get milk from Tesco in Pakistan, it will be great.

atif khan Feb 17, 2017 06:59pm

@Bittertruth its a lesson aka competition for local manufacturers that enough is enough..provide quality now or go home..but still local manufacturers have the they will give quality with less overheads a compared to tesco..its good isnt it:)

The end is near Feb 17, 2017 07:04pm

Tesco is only for Rich people but Pakistan is a poor country where poor people don't even have access to the very basic healthcare facilities.

Kasim.uK Feb 17, 2017 07:24pm

Tesco's is just disaster for British farming there thousands closed down and ones are supplying are squeezed until your working for them.even milk farmers where making losses supplying Tesco . I am ex manager at one of tescos in Uk so please my Pakistani brothers do not believe in these giant corporations to bring prosperity to our country.

Mathew George Feb 17, 2017 07:39pm

Make sure it is HALAL

Truth v2 Feb 17, 2017 07:45pm

Guys, Tesco was rocked by an accounting scandal couple of years back. They cooked their profit on books to increase market capitalization which fired back and they are still recovering! Not sure what they want to do here!!

mustanid Feb 17, 2017 07:53pm

@Arslan Don't expect they will send fresh milk from uk to Pakistan, it will be locally sourced.

ahmed Feb 17, 2017 08:31pm

That's a good sign. Utility Stores and CSD could have partnered to improve its own quality and standard.

Bea Feb 17, 2017 09:40pm

@Mathew George Tesco already sell Hala products here in the UK they were the first to open Halal meat counter and they sell a lot of products from pakistan already in stores. what do you want Halal Tomatoes?

Akbar Feb 17, 2017 09:41pm

@Saif Zulfiqar yes.. we need markets more than hospitals, schools,clean drinking water facilities and pure medicines. WOW..How easily we forget what should be our priorities.. how much of our population can afford Tesco like MacDonald and KFC,etc

Ijaz Feb 17, 2017 09:44pm


Thank you Akram. I am aware that Tesco, indeed all supermarkets sell Pakistani produce in the UK.

The fact remains however, that the way in which Tesco (and other large supermarkets) buy and indeed reject products in the West causes huge waste. Secondly as smaller shops close (due to supermarkets) the power of the oligopolistic buyers like a few big supermarkets leads to demands which damage the small farmer.

Given that the vast majority of agricultural land in Pakistan is held by small landowners, this could lead many to ruin as it is doing in India.

Ijaz Feb 17, 2017 09:47pm

@arsalan kamal

You are spot on Arsalan.

bk Feb 18, 2017 12:04am

Finally we can have some quality productsOnce cpec is completed everyone will be rich.

Vamshi Feb 18, 2017 01:15am

TESCO is an good brand in UK, Ireland, Australia and NZ . Coming to Pakistan should be a good move.

zak Feb 18, 2017 08:21am

All foreign companies are realising the potential of pakistan economically and as a leader in South Asia.

Comment Feb 18, 2017 05:15pm

More trade defecit.

MUJUMDAR Feb 18, 2017 06:16pm

@zak There is only one leader in South Asia Bangla Tiger, Bangladesh.