Tesco CEO: how our industry must change

Date : 20 March 2013

In a speech to the World Retail Congress in Singapore, Tesco CEO Philip Clarke has outlined how the industry needs to 're-tool' for the 21st century to adapt to fundamental changes in the way people shop.

Building on last year's Congress, when he discussed how shopping behaviour is changing, the Tesco CEO highlighted three areas where he believes the industry needs to make profound changes to the way it connects with stakeholders.

1. Connect with the global supply chain

Clarke defended the global supply chain as essential for sourcing high quality products and enabling them to be sold at affordable prices to shoppers. Many communities around the world have access to an affordable selection of fresh fruit and vegetables because of Tesco's development of a global supply chain, he said. To build on this, Tesco wants to be the partner of choice for local suppliers, earning their loyalty and working with them to grow their businesses in genuine partnership.

2. Connect with customers online

Digital development will be just as important as physical development to Tesco going forward, he said. Tesco is committed to launching online in all the markets in which it operates, with dotcom launching in Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur in the weeks ahead and in Shanghai in the summer. Clarke used the occasion to announce the launch of two new digital entertainment services, blinkbox music and blinkbox books, to complement the recently launched blinkbox movies. Together with this month's launch of Clubcard TV, the importance of entertainment to Tesco's offer is clear.

3. Connecting to wider society

Clarke drew attention to shoppers' growing expectations of business to demonstrate higher standards of social responsibility, pointing out that people still want the most socially responsible choices even at a time of declining spending power. While scale enabled Tesco to invest in projects such as its Regeneration Partnership stores to help tackle long term unemployment and initiatives to reduce food waste, it will now take this process further by instilling a new value as a company. Called scale for good, Tesco will explore how it can use its scale to create benefits for wider society.

Learn more on April 25 at Wembley........

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