Jack Cohen Organization founder

Sir John Edward Cohen (6 October 1898 – 24 March 1979), born Jacob Edward Kohen and commonly known as Jack Cohen, was a British businessman who founded the Tesco supermarket chain. He was born in Chatham in the Medway area of Kent, to a Jewish family, the son of an Avram Kohen, a Polish immigrant who worked as a tailor, and his first wife, Sime Zamremb. He began his working life as an apprentice tailor to his father but in 1917 he joined the Royal Flying Corps where he served as a canvas maker. Upon his demobilisation in 1919 he established himself as a market stall holder in Hackney, in London's East End by purchasing surplus NAAFI stock with his demob money. He soon became the owner of a number of market stalls, and started a wholesale business. Initially the other stalls were run by members of the family but gradually non-family members were added. Cohen and his wife worked 7 days a week, starting at dawn and counting money until late. At each market the traders would gather and, at a signal they would race to their favoured pitch. Cohen could not run fast so he simply threw his cap at the spot and this could beat anyone.

Personal details

Date of birth
October 6th, 1898
United Kingdom
Date of death
March 24th, 1979 at age of 80

Organizations founded

1. Tesco PLC

Retail, Supermarkets and Other Grocery (except Convenience) Stores

Date funded


Official web page

Lidership history

Dave Lewis
2014- Chief Executive Officer
Philip Clarke
2011-2014 Chief Executive Officer

Social media


New Tesco House, Delamare Road, EN8 9SL - Cheshunt, Hertfordshire

Wikiedia article

Tesco PLC is a multinational grocery and general merchandise retailer headquartered in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, England, United Kingdom. After Walmart, it is the second-largest retailer in the world measured by profits and second-largest retailer in the world measured by revenues. It has stores in 12 countries across Asia, Europe and North America and is the grocery market leader in the UK, the Republic of Ireland, Malaysia, and Thailand. Tesco was founded in 1919 by Jack Cohen as a group of market stalls. The Tesco name first appeared in 1924, after Cohen purchased a shipment of tea from T. E. Stockwell and combined those initials with the first two letters of his surname, and the first Tesco store opened in 1929 in Burnt Oak, Middlesex. His business expanded rapidly, and by 1939 he had over 100 Tesco stores across the country. Originally a UK-focused grocery retailer, since the early 1990s Tesco has increasingly diversified geographically and into areas such as the retailing of books, clothing, electronics, furniture, toys, petrol and software; financial services; telecoms and internet services; DVD rental; and music downloads.


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