Tesco has agreed to the sale of 14 Spenhill development sites that it no longer wants or needs, as part of a £250m deal – the latest phase of Tesco’s attempt to protect its balance sheet.
Meyer Bergman acquired the sites, which are located across London, the South East and Bath.
“Since announcing our decision to build fewer stores we have been working with Meyer Bergman to bring forward investment on our Spenhill sits,” said Tesco boss Dave Lewis. “We are very pleased to have agreed a deal with Meyer Bergman that will bring forward significant investment for these local communities, including opportunities for residential development.”
As part of a recovery strategy following the supermarket giant’s troubles, Britain’s biggest retailer announced its decision to build fewer stores. Recently, the grocer also finalised the sale of Homeplus, its South Korean arm, and attempted to sell its data business Dunnhumby but failed to find a buyer for the right price.
Tesco continues to suffer from strong rivalries in what has become a highly competitive market, while German discounters Aldi and Lidl have made leaps and bounds in increasing their market share at the expense of larger chains.
Meanwhile grocers continue to invest in their online businesses, as they face competition from the likes of Amazon which recently broke into the food delivery market. Ecommerce is getting stronger, with experts predicting that home deliveries for groceries will make up 50% of the total market by 2025.
In its 2015 annual report Tesco admitted that any failures in its technology, including online retail, could “impact our competitiveness” so it has continued to invest in both its online capabilities and its number of click-and-collect sites in the UK.