Tesco trials new non-food approach

Tesco will look to increasingly integrate catalogue business Tesco Direct into stores as part of a new approach to non-food.

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The supermarket is also rethinking how it displays non-food ranges to improve its credentials as a technology, fashion and health and beauty retailer.

It is trialling a number of new initiatives at its revamped Wembley Extra store, which opened this week (22 November) that could roll out across the business if they prove successful.

Richard Brasher, Tesco’s trading director says: “You have to have something different in your stores to set yourself apart from the competition.”

Brasher will take over as CEO of the UK business when Sir Terry Leahy steps down in 2011.

Brasher says that Tesco has looked at how to lay the store out differently to give more space to displaying non-food products and complement it by offering the Tesco Direct click and collect service via in-store kiosks.

More than 12% of all Tesco Direct sales already come from orders made in-store and the trial at Wembley is expected to boost this figure.

Supply chain director Neil Ashworth, says: “What we’re looking to do is fulfil the usual shopping and convenience needs of customers and inspire them with extended ranges in-stores.”

Ashworth adds that Tesco Direct kiosks and order points are embedded into the footprint of the Wembley store to adhere to customers’ “evolving shopping habits”.

“As well as shopping in store and online, customers are shopping on the move by mobile, we’re trying to bring together our on and offline offer in store to suit needs of customers,” Ashworth adds.

The Wembley store is also a test bed for a different approach to how Tesco displays its non-food ranges in store, particularly its technology, home and health and beauty offerings.

Its furniture and homewear ranges are displayed in what Brasher calls “department store style” to allow customers to see and feel a broader range of what is available through Tesco Direct.

Tesco is stocking the recently launched Samsung Galaxy Tab tablet device and Brasher says it is a beacon for Tesco’s aims as a technology retailer.

He says the store sold 100 of the Galaxy Tab devices in one morning, which demonstrates that customers are comfortable buying high end tech products at Tesco.

“Tesco is determined to be at the top end of technology, not at the bottom end so we’re working with brands such as Samsung and hope to have a full range of high end technology devices,” he adds.

Other initiatives being trialled include:

– Joint venture with Nandos to open an adjoining restaurant
– Improving shopfloor service with expert teams
– Fully functional technology products
– Improving its health and beauty ranges and displays
– Introducing a new shop fit concept for its fashion offer

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