New Tesco Website Dedicated to Polish Groceries

Discussion
May 14, 2008

By Bernice Hurst, Managing Partner, Fine Food Network

Tesco in the UK has created a new website dedicated to shoppers wanting Polish products. Having launched a range of Polish foods in ten stores in 2006, the supermarket now carries some 250 products in 500 stores. With just 245 stores in Poland itself, this means that Tesco will sell Polish food in more UK stores to reach the more than a million Poles now living in Britain.

Tesco’s Polish food buyer, Kaska Teofilak, said, “The huge demand for Polish delicacies in Britain has overwhelmed us to the extent that we have exceeded our original expectation by tenfold. The rocketing demand means that Polish has become the fastest growing ethnic food range we have ever launched including our Indian and Chinese cuisines, so the launch of a dedicated website for Poles is a logical step forward.”

Linked directly to the core www.tesco.com transactional site at www.tesco.com/polski, the new site showcases the retailer’s range of Polish specific products. It also includes a store locator showing which ones carry – and will deliver – Polish products. Links to popular websites visited by the Polish community such as search engines and news services are being used to promote the range. For the benefit of Poles in England and their new neighbors who may be learning to love their food, the site is published in Polish and English.

Ms. Teofilak added, “Having a business in Poland has made it easier for us to bring over the most popular food and drink items.” By dealing directly with suppliers in Poland, she explained, the huge demand in Britain is creating a boom for the economy over there.

Discussion Questions: Do you see an opportunity for U.S. grocers to open separate websites around ethnicities? Are dedicated, bi-lingual, sites more likely to increase sales than simply highlighting categories?

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5 Comments on "New Tesco Website Dedicated to Polish Groceries"

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Jeff Weitzman
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Jeff Weitzman
9 years 6 months ago

Well sure, why not? One of the great things about marketing in a virtual world is that, well, it’s virtual. Any retail store can present itself online in many guises. A grocery store in particular, which necessarily tries to be many things to many people, has an opportunity online to market itself as a collection of specialty stores. As long as the in-store experience doesn’t disappoint consumers, as long as the marketing is authentic, it’s a great idea.

Mark Lilien
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9 years 6 months ago

America probably has more ethnic groceries, proportionately, than the UK. It’s absurdly easy to get a lease and open a store in the USA, so ethnic food competition is much sharper. Furthermore, it often appears that the ethnic entrepreneurs can source their goods with more skill (lower prices, higher quality, better selection) than the conventional grocers. So the customers who really know the product don’t favor the conventional grocers. Why would they?

katja briughton
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katja briughton
9 years 6 months ago

As a retail worker, foreigner and consumer there is a huge market for this type of scenario, especially if someone would come up with the option to order it online and pick it up store-side. I can see where this would drive sales significantly, as customers would pick up produce and additional ingredients and produce to go with the dish.

I know that, for my nationality, there are 3 websites that have dedicated sections and/or forum parts showing who has what available.

These are not small sites, either–each with membership ranging from approx 20000 to 30000 members.

Many immigrants from European and partly Asian countries have considerable disposable income as they are often send here by employers.

Ben Ball
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9 years 6 months ago

Serving specific needs like this online makes perfect sense. Great way to feed a “make-to-order” supply chain for variable demand.

My wife’s family are first generation immigrants from Hungary and Czechoslovakia by way of Germany. At least once every other week a package shows up with some sort of sausage, pretzel, bread or cheese. The difference is that they come from specialty manufacturers/distributors for ethnic cuisine.

Would mainline grocery chains have credibility in this space? Probably. And what they lose in authenticity could be made up for in the breadth of consumer exposure their sites get.

Odonna Mathews
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Odonna Mathews
9 years 6 months ago

Consumers want to know that a retailer cares about and caters to the products they want. Online is the way to go for a lot of this marketing.

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