By Andrew Simms
Review by Alex (PPE)
Tescopoly, perhaps unsurprisingly, is about how Tesco and other supermarkets are dominating consumer markets in a similar way to how a player aims to dominate the property market in the game “Monopoly”. I read this book as an introduction to economics as it revolved around something I was already so familiar with – supermarkets! The great thing about Simms’s book is that it discusses economic topics such as markets, supply, demand, and consumers in a way that is really simple to understand.
When applying for university, it is easy to get drawn into complex subject books which you may struggle to grasp, all in order to make your personal statement stand out from the crowd. In fact, I felt that by reading Simms’s accessible book I had a much better understanding of the way economists think and also a good idea of how to link economics to other subjects such as politics. For example, the book suggests that one way to restrict supermarket-dominated “clone towns” is for the government to implement restrictive regulations. An argument which arises from this discussion is whether the government should be able to intervene in the growth of business in a capitalist society, or whether that constitutes a restriction to our political freedoms.
The book is organised in a series of amusing chapters, yet they never fail to address the serious issues surrounding the “inexorable rise of supermarkets”. Chapter 10’s title reads, “Freshening the Dragon’s Breath: Corporate Responsibility and the Role of Regulators”. The paradoxes in language and tone really drew me into this book. I felt that instead of being weighed down with extensive facts, I would be showered with relevant information conveyed in a humorous (and therefore much more interesting) way!
I first picked up this book in the summer after my GCSE exams and I would recommend it to anyone who has even a remote interest in economics or politics! Simms successfully convinces readers to re-evaluate their beliefs on supermarkets – even those reader who did not even realise they had any views on how they shop!
Tescopoly by Andrew Simms