Tesco mulls premium stores

Supermarket chain Tesco is reportedly considering the launch of premium, upmarket ‘Finest’ stores to compete with the likes of M&S Simply Food.

According to the Financial Times, the supermarket revealed its plans to investors at a capital markets day in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, where its headquarters are based.

This is said to be part of Tesco’s plan to capitalise on its recent recovery in sales and margins, as the upmarket stores are predicted to deliver an operating margin twice what the company already makes.

Following the announcement, Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis, said: “Tesco Finest as a brand is one of the largest food brands in the country. We have a very high percentage of more upmarket customers. The opportunity to curate that range and bring new things in a more convenient outlet is something that we have tested, is something we’re interested in.”

This follows the supermarket’s launch of its discount chain Jack’s, named after founder Jack Cohen, which marked the company’s centenary. Its first opened in September at Chatteris, Cambridgeshire and Immingham, Lincolnshire.

Tesco reported an almost flat like-for-like sales growth of 0.2% in its Q1 trading update. However, despite the slowdown in sales the supermarket said it “outperformed” in both sales and volume terms as it made further investments in range, price and loyalty.

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