The chief executive of Tesco has revealed plans to rapidly expand the grocer’s click-and-collect spots following its acquisition of Booker.
Mentioned in a conference call with City analysts after the announcement of the surprise acquisition, Tesco boss Dave Lewis said the proposed £3.9 billion takeover deal means the UK’s biggest retailer could double the number of click-and-collect locations for online purchases to almost 8000.
Lewis added that the click-and-collect offensive formed a key part of the takeover strategy.
Tesco currently has 3500 stores, while Booker supplies 120,000 retail outlets and operates 4000 Premier, Londis and Budgens convenience stores.
The move follows Sainsbury’s push in online click-and-collect services after it acquired Argos last year.
READ MORE: Booker bosses win over Tesco merger sceptics
Tesco also faces threat from online grocer Ocado, which recently posted increases in sales and profits in its recent full-year report, while Amazon last week announced plans to expand its AmazonFresh service beyond London borders to Hampshire and Surrey.
Booker has annual sales of £5 billion, and if the merger with Tesco is approved the combined revnue will be close to £60 billion.
“Consider the idea that through this merger and through a network of close to 8000 click-and-collect points we would drive traffic to those independent stores as a way of giving more service from the combined operation,” Lewis told the City.
He added that becoming a click-and-collect point for Tesco deliveries was not a threat for independent stores, but rather an opportunity.
It would also bring the challenge directly to click-and-collect delivery specialist CollectPlus, which has 6000 delivery points and collaborates with Amazon, ASOS, Marks & Spencer and Very.co.uk.