Monday, April 23, 2012

Remember Prestos?

Time and tide reveal an echo of  Nairn's recent past 

1 comment:

Jim said...

Ah, Presto - opened their first store in 1977 in the town of Prestonpans, hence the company name. Presto was part of James Goldsmith's Allied Foods group, which he sold in 1982 to Argyll Foods, for the then eye-watering sum of £101 million.

Later, Argyll Foods bought Safeway UK, and eventually rebranded Presto and other group shops to Safeway.

But Safeway, at one point no 4 food seller in the UK, lost ground to competitors. Some say bad management was involved there.

In 2004 the group was mainly bought by the Morrison chain, but smaller shops were quickly sold off to competing groups, eg Somerfield, Waitrose, Tesco, and Sainsbury, in accordance with a Competitions Commission ruling.

So as we know, Somerfield came to Nairn, but the company was shortly bought out by the Co-op Group.

Quite a few grocery groups have let success go to their heads, and tried to expand by buying their competitors. History tells us this doesn't always work out well.

By the way, the original Safeway Group continues to prosper across the Atlantic, in the USA and Canada.