In a wide ranging interview at Retail Week Live, Tesco's Chief Product Officer Jason Tarry has spoken of how stronger supplier relations are crucial to Tesco's future and provided new insight around its strategy.
Supplier relations: "Great progress but more to do"
Commenting generally on collaboration with suppliers, Tarry said the closer businesses work together "the better we do as joint businesses" In Tesco's case, being closer to the customer and to each other's businesses is helping the retailer to develop and bring forward more relevant and differentiated propositions. He added that more collaborative relationships allowed both parties to work more efficiently together, to create value and share it.
Booker deal welcomed by suppliers
Commenting on suppliers' response to the Booker merger, Tarry said that this had been very positive with suppliers to both businesses seeing the deal as a growth opportunity. Developing the offer together will allow suppliers to take full advantage of Tesco-Booker's increased channel coverage, he added.
Bar Hill: innovative collaboration from Tesco and Booker
When asked about future developments that we can expect at Tesco, Tarry highlighted the opening of the new Chef Central unit for professional caterers at Tesco Extra Bar Hill, Cambridge. For more on this see First look - Booker Chef Central @ Tesco Extra. However when asked about Tesco's reported interest in setting up a discount format, Tarry said that Tesco didn't comment on speculation and said that the business remained focused on ensuring its offer was as relevant as possible for customers and winning in an ever more competitive and dynamic market.
No threat from 'Direct to Consumer' trend
Commenting on the growing trend for FMCG brands to sell direct to consumers, Tarry expressed doubts about the advantages to brand owners. He insisted that Tesco was seeing more of its customers "wanting to consolidate the product search and their shopping experience across and between channels. That could be search online and shop in store, or enter the shop and be able to look online to see if they can widen the choice from what they can buy in store."
Incubator programme selects brands
In a separate development, The Grocer reports that the retailer is backing 14 start-up brands in 2018 through its Tesco Labs project, as part of its wider drive to make Tesco a champion of innovation. Brands chosen include high protein, low sugar brand WheyHey, sports nutrition brand Grenade, and natural food specialist, Deliciously Ella. All will now have access to resources including workshops, discounted Dunnhumby data, Tesco's media outlets and one-to-one support from Tesco's partnership team.
IGD Tesco Business Update 2018
23 May, London
Hear from Jason Tarry, Group CEO Dave Lewis, and Chief Customer Officer Alessandra Bellini, along with other members of the leadership team who will provide a business and commercial update.
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