Retail Week Live: Philip Clarke says profound change occurring in retail


Tesco chief Philip Clarke has delivered his keynote speech at Retail Week Live in London this morning.

Clarke insisted that being genuinely multichannel was Tesco‘s goal and commented that the speed of technological innovation has “accelerated exponentially” as consumer facing businesses are having to wrestle with a profound change in customer‘s expectations.

“Whether media, entertainment, leisure or banking, the traditional ways in which consumers purchase and consume is fundamentally shifting. It‘s driven by today‘s consumer. The connected, informed, demanding, restless 21st century consumer.”

Market share at Tesco is at its lowest level in nine years which has led to speculation that Clarke‘s job is at risk. Clarke, who announced he would cut new store space to 700,000 sq ft from 1.4m last month, said Tesco needed to open up its business.

“Retail has an image problem. We have to accept that bigger is not seen as better by today‘s customer. It‘s not about size any more.”