This article was contributed in 2005 by Fred Rayers.



In 1982 Tesco started importing the IBM PC and associated items from various manufacturers in the USA using a Tesco owned company registered in the USA (the grey import market).  At this time IBM was not supplying the UK market and in any case products which were available were more expensive.  The market aimed for were companies which were likely to want PCs in quantity and who might themselves become dealers.

In 1983 IBM opened its own dealer network in the UK.  Tesco became one of the first and opened a dedicated Business Centre in Welwyn Garden City.  The grey market then died out although non-IBM peripherals were still imported from the States.

The Dealer Price List of April 1983 is the earliest I have and was aimed primarily at the dealer market.

In 1984 Tesco made the decision to pull out of the PC market.  The 1985 price list was in use when we closed and the business and remaining stock sold as a going concern.

So far as I remember the main use of the PC at that time was word processing, spread sheets, accounting, data management etc.  At that time all Tesco systems were on mainframes, ICL then IBM.  A lot of staff was employed for the input of data.  I have a recollection that within the computer division we did install a network between the heads of department, which was used to pass correspondence

1 Dec 2005
Fred (W) Rayers

What I remember from Tesco is going into Dad's office after work when I was a student working in the holidays at Tesco, probably 1980, but perhaps in 1981 and trying out a Rair Black Box (a CP/M computer made I think by ICL (which is now Fujitsu and who I work for) that he used in the office.
(Added from Email - 04/12/05 by Fred's son (also called Fred))

Date : Unknown

This exhibit has a reference ID of CH543. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.

Memories - Tesco and the IBM PC - 1982

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