The supermarket has a 49 per cent share in the independent business, which operates a chain of 10 coffee shops in London and the South East.
Speaking in the supermarket’s official blog, CEO Philip Clarke said the move would be part of Tesco’s ongoing effort to improve its store environments and offer an “appealing destination for customers”.
Clarke took to the blog to defend Tesco’s investment in Harris & Hoole against a swell of negative press following a Guardian article last week that claimed customers felt “duped” by the chain after realising it was part-owned by Tesco.
Read Rosie Baker’s viewpoint on why it doesn’t matter that Tesco owns Harris & Hoole because the strength of the brand speaks for itself.
He says: “Some people have asked why it’s not branded Tesco. The H+H brand is part of its value – its distinctiveness and appeal. It’s the Tolley’s [founding family] business, their brand. Our investment helps them to take it further.
“When the Tolleys are ready, we will put them into some of our stores. They will have proved that their brand and their offer work, that customers like it and it will be another reason for customers to shop with us.”
Clarke also outlined another investment in independent bakery chain Euphorium Bakery which has seven outlets in London including Islington, Covent Garden and Whiteleys shopping centre as well as a Tesco store in Kensington.
He says: “We will back businesses in which we see an opportunity for their brands to grow with ours [Euphorium] is an established brand and business, with a compelling offer, it is already in a store in Kensington, offering amazing breads, pastries and sandwiches. It makes what is already a terrific store even better for customers. We’re proud of it and I hope our customers will love it too.”