The move comes shortly after the retailer was forced to issue its first profit warning in 20 years in January as a result of seeing competitors squeeze its market share over recent months.
Today’s announcement follows a shake up of the UK marketing team, with a former Kraft and Unilever marketer David Wood replacing Carolyn Bradley as UK marketing director, as the latter moves to a global role.
The drive will prioritise fresh meat, bakery and the “counter services that customers value most”, Tesco says. Last year’s growth at rival chain Morrisons has been largely attributed to its focus on pushing its fresh produce offer.
Tesco’s market share dropped to 29.7% in the 12 weeks ending 19 February – its lowest point since 2005, according to the latest Kantar Worldpanel supermarket share figures released last month.
In contrast Sainsbury’s continued to out-perform the market and lifted its share from 16.5% to 16.6% and Asda maintained its highest ever share of 17.5%.
The retailer said this was a first stage in a series of planned investments in its domestic UK business. In a move welcomed by the prime minister David
Cameron, it said it would also be supporting the UK economy by expanding its apprenticeship program.