15 April 2014 – new strategies for UK supermarkets

I have just read about two new supermarket strategies – Tesco is developing a ‘food-to-go-store’ strategy to try and bag some of the lucrative lunch-time trade in London, and the East of England Co-op is opening a new flagship store to build on its locally sourced food trade. Around 80% of the stock in the new store – which is being marketed as both a village store and a roadside stop-off for tourists – will be supplied direct from farmers, growers and producers in the surrounding counties of Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex.

These are interesting ideas – first, we have conflicting signals from Tesco as it struggles with the rapid growth of discounters Aldi and Lidl and it now appears to be looking at some other more ‘up-market’ options as part of its strategic thinking. Whereas the East of England Co-op is about to open a commercial version of a farm shop, located on a busy transport route. It really does seem that the supermarket model as we know it is changing. Take-out food is predictable I suppose, but investment in a store sourcing mostly locally sourced food and drink, sounds a more radical change in direction.

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