Thursday 24 May 2018

Tesco battles back to halt revenues slide

PLAN OF ACTION: Tesco is opening four new stores here, including two Tesco Extras
PLAN OF ACTION: Tesco is opening four new stores here, including two Tesco Extras
Nick Webb

Nick Webb

Tesco is launching a major fightback following weak sales figures which saw its revenues drop 5.5 per cent last year. This will see a number of strategic initiatives introduced over the coming year by Irish boss PJ Clarke.

"We're confident that we have a good plan and we're headed in the right direction, investing in the most compelling offer for customers. Our focus is to invest for the long-term growth. In the coming year we will open four new stores creating more than 250 jobs," according to Tesco. The new stores will be Tesco Extras in Dundalk and Ballincollig, an Express supermarket in Dublin's Aungier Street and another supermarket at Park Pointe. "Reflecting changes in consumer behaviour, we have also increased the number of Express (convenience) stores in our network to 34, with 19 added since 2010," according to the company.

"We also continue to invest in developing our multichannel experience. Multichannel is about bringing all the ways of shopping with Tesco together in one seamless experience. In the coming year we will continue to invest in expanding our grocery home shopping service; we'll increase the number of Click & Collect locations and we're launching an online site for our F&F fashion line which has seen strong year-on-year growth."

The retailer is also zeroing in on pricing with its "Price Promise", which gives customers a voucher if their shopping basket is cheaper in Aldi or Lidl. "We have also recently launched 'Staying Down' – customers have told us that they don't like prices constantly changing on the things they buy regularly, and so are committing to 'staying down prices' on hundreds of products. As crops and seasons change, some of these prices may need to change, but we are committed to doing our utmost to ensure they stay down for as long as possible, and at the very least 12 weeks."

Tesco boss Clarke has introduced a number of high-profile initiatives in the battle to keep customers in the UK. These have included buyouts of cafe and restaurant businesses and the introduction of creches, gyms and other retailers in its bigger stores.

"While our focus remains on delivering these initiatives to improve the quality of our customer offering, clearly we keep initiatives that are being implemented in the UK under review to understand whether they would also be appropriate for our Irish customers."

Sunday Indo Business

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