Tesco focuses on becoming “most convenient retailer” with new Express stores

// Tesco to push ahead with expansion plans despite rise in cost-of-living
// Tesco’s opening programme will take it to total of over 2000 Express stores and 1001 shops

Tesco has set out plans to push on with its convenience store expansion programme, to open 14 new Express stores and 59 new stores in the coming year.

The Big Four grocer’s chief executive Ken Murphy said this morning that Tesco’s opening programme will take it to a total of over 2000 Express stores and 1001 shops.

“Our priority is to be the most convenient retailer,” Murphy told Retail Gazette.

“That means serving customers wherever, whenever and however they want. No matter where our customers live, or how they shop.”

READ MORE: Tesco rebounds post pandemic but warns on profits amid cost of living crisis

Murphy added that Tesco has added more than 100 new click-and-collect sites in the past year – taking the total to 500.

“We now have over 200 Express stores offering our Whoosh delivery service with less than 60 minutes promise and Gorillas is operating from three stores – with the latest in Manchester,” he said.

“We’re also opening our fifth urban fulfilment centre next month to provide extra capacity to grow our online rapid delivery.”

Tesco said it has worked closely with suppliers to manage inflation and the cost pressures.

Customers have seen a reduction in prices of about 0.6% across the year. However, Tesco said this doesn’t tell the full story, because the grocer saw prices rise towards the second half of the year, and accelerate at the end of the year.

Murphy added: “We’re maintaining really strong availability at the moment. The supply chain team are outstanding at Tesco, they’ve done a great job, because as you know, we’ve faced supply chain challenges now for almost three years, and this is just another challenge that we have to overcome.”

“Clearly, availability and products like sunflower oil is a bit more challenged and patchy than we would like. But we’re already looking at alternative vegetable oil sources and making sure that we maintain availability for customers going forward.”

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