Tesco Supermarkets started in the 1930s after one man’s success as an East London stall trader with Tesco tea as his first branded product. There were already 100 stores when the second World War started and the Tesco continued to grow rapidly, becoming one of the major budget supermarket brands by the 70s.
Since then there has been quite a transformation with large modern stores regularly opening, many with adjoining petrol stations. Convenience, a popular loyalty scheme and often cheaper petrol prices have all surely contributed to Tesco now ranking as the sixth largest UK petrol retailer.
Tesco, like most of the supermarket petrol stations initially started selling branded petrol, either Gulf, Texaco or BP but in the late 80s their own brand fuel went on sale. As well as Tesco branded petrol stations at their stores, Tesco have also opened ‘Express’ stores at many Esso sites.
It was announced in October 2005 that Tesco was to buy 21 supermarket forecourt stations from Morrisons, making them the UK’s number one supermarket fuel retailer with approximately a third of all supermarket based forecourts.
Tesco supplies its forecourts with Super Unleaded 99 Octane (Research Octane Number). The fuel is a blend of 5% bio-ethanol, and has been available since mid-November 2005, at selected filling stations across the UK. This Fuel is supplied to Tesco by Greenergy.
Tesco has a 25% stake in Greenergy, who are investing in a new big scale biodiesel plan development due to open in late 2006 which will produce 100,000 tonnes of biodiesel a year.
Early in 2006, 181 of Tesco’s filling stations in the South and North West were converted to biodiesel.