The risk of selling out dated food


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"Tesco has been ordered to pay more than £50,000 in fines and costs after an investigation found five south Wales stores were selling out-of-date food." (BBC NEWS) "We hope the result of this case will be a wake-up call to all food retailers to put in place procedures to ensure out-of-date products are removed from their shelves." (Glyn Caron, Torfaen Council)Many consumers will be introduced with a series of business promotion tactics pull them towards some kind of special promotions, bundling or compliment away a number of gifts and so on. But most of them in the purchase of these seemingly very affordable discounted food items; they pay no attention to the shelf life of food. According to this, here provided some ideas and also analysis how this issue would happened.

Main Body

First of all, staffs should have their ability to make sure disposed of goods on a particular date to ensure its freshness and quality is maintained. However, one issue that needed to be considered is its leadership problem. In managing and leading are both require people to influence colleagues by powers to put effort and commitment to the task on the same organization level. In fact, commodity management is a relatively tedious work. One cause is supermarket selling full range of groceries; if staffs do not have a strong sense of responsibility consequently the management will inevitably lead to disorder. In view of that which is related to Theory X and Y assumption when staffs feel the job that is interesting to do, treat with respect and have a chance to get on in life. As a result on maintaining a happy workforce, they will get satisfy more committed and motivated. Tesco carry out the employees reward programme which could motivate people in both their personal and working lives. An advantage of this is a desire to serve people and improve personal skills or achieve promotion. Another thought on Talyor's research people worked purely for money and suggests that the company looks for the best person for the job for their workforce planning process. Tesco has some similarity to Talyor's theory that it looks within its own employees by this means to recruit the right people for the position before looking externally. It aims to ensure all roles work together to impulse its business objectives.

Furthermore, another cause is when categorizing different characteristics of goods staffs must not breach of duty; otherwise it will affect the running process. An effective leader is someone who brings innovation and moves an activity out of trouble into success. Hence implement of job description and person specification could significant lead every staff have a clear work area to be responsible for particular job such as display of goods, fill orders, sanitation and other basic commodities conservation management. These help managers to access if the staffs are carrying out jobs to the appropriate standards. Moreover, grouping in teams will encourage their efficiency and workplace atmosphere. An appraisal scheme by Mayo's theory stated it could change and develop a person's actions. From the case "Managers of Tesco seemed under pressure to extend the shelf-life of food in order to keep their weekly "wastage budgets" to a minimum and thereby help keep store profits high."(By Audrey Brown Reporter, BBC News) Refers to this, Tesco seems like against some aspects of Maslow;s five essential needs also Herzberg's theory of motivator factors and hygiene factors. In contrast with grudging observance is unlikely to provide a satisfied performance. Staffs may not happy with their bonus and rewards also coercive may cause loss their confidence and power through fear of punishment or harm in order to get the sales targets. Intend to painstaking allure consumers to buy these soon expired foods, it is actually better to set up counters and sell with discount, specific telling consumers that these foods have only a few days time limit.

Secondly, selling out of date food may also link to managing and organizing people on tasks of management. Enhance inventory management is another important part of running supermarkets, stock neither too much nor too little. Excess inventory will take up too much of resources; there is a backlog risk of asset liquidity. Too little inventory can cause the supply out of stock or not in time, affect the sales market thereby a balance is needed between them. The basic goal is to meet the sales and reduce operating costs. From the case "This is very unusual as our stores take part in daily audits to prevent any out-of-date food being left on shelves." Indicates that managers and staffs are lack of communication induce negligence. The most prominent is feedback on sale also prediction is not accurate enough, resulting in stock structure unreasonable that seriously affected the normal operation and profitability improved. Develop inventory management not only can conducive to the normal flow of goods and capital, but also reduce certain operating costs and losses. On the one hand, the workforce is huge hence it is hard to avoid some loopholes and problems in the management. The other hand, employees in a large supermarket usually fluctuated, they are easily to quit which will bring a number of difficulties on distribute work. "People are the most decisive factor in productive forces." As a result strengthening the personnel management of the supermarket could play a decisive role for business development.

Conclusion and recommendations

Overall, this case is significantly telling that deal with those faced with expired food, it is all similar ways either sells or throw away. Therefore Tesco should reinforce the management of stock and sales such as found over the shelf-life, incomplete or unclear signs and hold all the food shelves. Whereas it could actually sell at lower prices for its employees especially those night duty staffs. Simultaneity reduces costs and decrease waste products. This can give the advantage for both equality and mutual benefit.

The reference list

Brown, A. (2007) Out-of-date food in UK supermarkets. BBC NEWS, 21th May

(2008) Tesco fined over out-of-date food. BBC NEWS, 23rd Jan

Shead, M. (n.d.) Leadership Trait Theory [WWW] Leadership 501. Available from: [Accessed 07/11/10]

Pyle, M. (2009) Tesco gets £18,000 fine for out-of-date food, HAMPSHIRE, 1st April

Boddy,D. (2008) Management. 4th ed. England: Pearson Prentice Hall

(2004) Beyond the Horizons Consulting. Essential Qualities for Teams, Vol1 (6),


Ogbonna E. and Whipp R. (1999) Strategy, culture and HRM: evidence from the UK food retailing sector, Human Resource Management Journal, Vol. 9 Issue 4, pp.75-80

Kirkwood,D. (1993) "How Tesco manages the distribution function", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 12 Iss: 5, pp.61 - 64

Morse,J. and Lorsch,J. (1970) "Beyond theory Y', Harvard Business Review, vol.48, no. 3 ,pp 61-68

Motivational theory in practice at Tesco [WWW]. The Times 100. Available from: [Accessed 10/11/10]

Porter's five forces - Tesco [WWW ] Available from: [Accessed 06/11/10]

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