CEO: Future of Tesco is Bricks & Clicks

Discussion
Jun 09, 2011
George Anderson

New Tesco CEO Philip Clark has a vision of the future for the world’s third largest retailer and it involves a solid dose of clicks to go with all those bricks the company has thrown up in markets around the globe.

"Successful retailers need to be multi-channel retailers," Mr. Clarke told the audience at the British Retail Consortium symposium in London this week. "We cannot differentiate between online and in-store. Our online offer has to be at least as good, if not better than, that which we offer on the high street."

Mr. Clark said Tesco plans to more than double the number of stores offering its Click & Collect service on non-foods. By the end of this year, the retailer plans to have 600 stores offering the service that enables consumers to order products online and then pick them up in stores. New locations offering Click & Collect will include stores in Bangkok, Bratislava, Budapest, Kuala Lumpur and Shanghai. According to The Guardian, Tesco plans to eventually add food to the service, but has not set a date.

Tesco, which operates stores in 14 countries, offers online shopping in Ireland and South Korea in addition to its home market in the U.K.

Discussion Questions: What do you think the future of multi-channel retailing will look like? Which channel (stores, online, mobile, social or other) will be most crucial to retail growth in the years to come?

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9 Comments on "CEO: Future of Tesco is Bricks & Clicks"


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Max Goldberg
Guest
9 years 11 months ago

Mr. Clark is right. There should be no difference between in-store and online at retail. The products and customer experience should mirror each other. Too few retailers are practicing this. With the increase in mobile technology and usage, this blurring of the lines will become even more important, as consumers have instant access to the Internet at all times.

W. Frank Dell II
Guest
9 years 11 months ago

First, never ever underestimate Tesc – they run a great operation and understand the consumer better than most retailers. Yes, they have an issue here in the USA, but history says they will solve this. Second, operating multi-channel/formats is common in Europe. It is only here in the USA that most retailers have trouble operating multi-formats. One point is clear, the internet will play a major future role in food retailing as it is in other forms of retail.

David Biernbaum
Guest
9 years 11 months ago

New Tesco CEO Philip Clark is right on the money about successful retailers of the future being multi-channeled because their very own consumers are multi-channeled. Shoppers are multi-dimensional. No one shops just one way anymore. Clicks and bricks are all part of how nearly every consumer shops or how most will shop in the near future. Mobile clicks will become a huge dynamic whether retailers like it or not, or whether they want to believe it now or later. Don’t wait before it’s too late to grow with your own consumer.

Phil Rubin
Guest
9 years 11 months ago

The reality of both today and the future is that retail customers not only want but increasingly expect omni-channel experiences. For Tesco it is particularly interesting given their epic and loyal customer base. Amazon comes to mind given its absence of brick-and-mortar but it also makes you wonder…what if…Amazon wanted to get into the brick-and-mortar business…and they combined with Tesco? That would be an interesting combination.

Matthew Keylock
Guest
Matthew Keylock
9 years 11 months ago

Clearly there is a future in bricks and in clicks. Mobile will play a key role in both as the window to the online proposition and also as a tool to improve in-store (e-wallets, personalized offers, shopping lists etc.). Social will also play an important role though whether this is as a retail channel itself or as a complement to the other channels remains to be seen. Just because multi-channel retailing is growing doesn’t mean all retailers need to be charging down all these paths. Identifying what the right strategy and solution is for them will depend on their market, customer and strategic priorities.

Joan Treistman
Guest
9 years 11 months ago

Tesco just recently purchased a firm that specializes in word of mouth promotion. That’s evidence to me that the company is leveraging its vision of retailing so that Tesco is part of the future as it occurs. It seems to me that Tesco is operating on all cylinders to be accessible to all consumers. Tesco is making itself available anywhere it can intersect with potential customers and drive shoppers to Tesco.

Dan Berthiaume
Guest
Dan Berthiaume
9 years 11 months ago

Multichannel retailing will eventually become true “omnichannel” retailing, where a consumer has then identical experience across all channels and all channels can be accessed simultaneously via mobile device or tablet. Mobile will be the key to multichannel retailing, as the continuing shrinkage of devices with the full capacity of PC’s means people will truly be connected all the time, wherever they go. Retailers need to capitalize on that connection to stay competitive in the years ahead.

Geoffrey Igharo
Guest
Geoffrey Igharo
9 years 11 months ago

This certainly is mostly a win-win for the consumer and Tesco. That said, my assessment is that the real driver for Tesco is that they want to ramp up sales of non-food while minimizing their footprint, as there is broad resistance to growth in the physical size of their UK stores. This approach allows them do do that while maintaining footfall in the stores.

I’d also note that the detail of what Clarke said suggests that this is about pushing hard in non-food, because they are not as committed to driving this through in their grocery lines. Which is a disappointment IMO, as that area will not be as integrated in the “clicks & bricks.”

Gene Detroyer
Guest
9 years 11 months ago
Tesco CEO Philip Clark has a vision of the future for the world’s third largest retailer and it involves a solid dose of clicks. Walmart CEO Mike Duke says Walmart will be a leader in global e-commerce. Carrefour CEO Lars Olofsson said Carrefour would try to catch up with their rivals in e-commerce as they have fallen too far behind while focusing on brick and mortar. These three retail leaders see the future and it is in online. The online business model is far superior to the brick and mortar business model. Their stores must become the tail wagged by e-commerce. Mobile, social and others are just supportive avenues. If a company is going to think of themselves as a retailer, not an owner of stores, they must build their future through online. Amazon is already the #1 recognized brand in the U.S. and in the world. That is the competition for Tesco, Walmart and Carrefour and all retailers. Any retailer not recognizing that will cease to exist.
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