Jack’s: revisiting Tesco’s discount format

Date : 17 June 2019

In the nine months since its launch in September 2018, Tesco has opened nine Jack’s stores. As the retailer nears critical mass for its trial of 10-15 stores, we share our view on developments so far.

Buy more, save more: flexing the Jack’s format for bulk shopping   

In a similar approach taken by Sainsbury’s during its short-lived joint venture with Netto, Tesco is trialling Jack’s in a variety of locations. This has led to a high degree of format flexing across the network. Its latest opening is Rawtenstall is a marked departure from other stores we’ve visited, and around three times the size of the first Chatteris store.

Its “buy more, save more” slogan is key point of difference, boldy written on the front of the store and on each aisle-end. Shoppers pay less per unit by buying in bulk, with the unit price displayed on red stickers. This mechanic applies to a wide selection of Jack’s own brands and market-leading brands.

Larger pack sizes are available for many branded products, prominently displays at the end of the aisles. Cases of products are available on the shelf,  easy to get to the checkout on flatbed trolleys.

Beer, wine, spirits and soft drinks near the front of the store set a different tone for shoppers on entering this store. This compares to bakery and fresh produce first in flow, as we’ve seen in other Jack’s. The Tesco supermarket that previously fillled the site has likely influenced this layout.

Source: IGD Research

Jack’s is “part of the Tesco Family” – but how closely are they related?

Jack’s own brand range is one of the features Tesco claimed to be “unique” to the format, helping distinguish it from other Tesco stores. The Fresh Five produce deal, and When Its Gone Its Gone (WIGIG) deals on general merchandise are other standout Jack’s features. They are also the signature promotions of leading food discounters Aldi (Super Six and Specialbuys) and Lidl (Pick of the Week).

These Jack’s identifiers are now creeping into the main estate. In May a small selection of Jack’s products appeared down the Tesco promotional power aisle. For price sensisitve shoppers, these offer great value, such as £1.07 for 750g of breakfast cereal. The move also offers a welcome boost in volume for lines that are currently only sold in nine stores. This will help Tesco understand the national demand for Jack’s products. But as part of an own brand strategy, adding Jack’s to the mix after the entire 10,000 SKU range has been revamped, including the launch of the “Exclusively at Tesco” entry tier, was a surprising move. It raises a lot of questions: could Jack’s be Tesco’s fourth own brand tier? Will Tesco products ever go into Jack’s? From a shopper perspective, does it dilute the differences between Jack’s and Tesco (where they get the convenience of a bigger range, Clubcard points, and more )?

Fresh Five has also recently become embedded in Tesco’s produce promotional cycle, a tactic that only usually appears at Tesco at Christmas. While Jack’s Fresh Five and Tesco’s Fresh Five include different products and prices, they play a prominent part of the value and freshness messaging for both.

New general merchandise format trials have also seen Tesco introduce WIGIG fixtures similar to those found in Jack’s. This will help drive footfall, excitement and impulse purchasing for the category and the store.

Source: IGD Research

Mission-possible: increasing competition in food-to-go and meal for tonight  

While Jack’s food-to-go and meal inspiration fixtures add complexity to the efficiency-focused model, they are a necessity if Jack’s is to compete alongside Aldi and Lidl. Both discounters are developing their propositions in these areas. For example, Aldi has food-to-go and meal for tonight fixtures in stores, and its award-winning premium ready meals appeal to an ever widening flavour palette.

At Jack’s, displays combine chilled and ambient groceries for themes like Big Night, a convenient solution and a break from the value messaging.

Coffee machines adjacent to the in-store bakeries, as well as packaged sandwiches, drinks and snacks also appeal to shoppers on the go. Tesco’s expertise in these areas are a strong benefit for the Jack’s chain.

Source: IGD Research

Want to know more?

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