Tesco Direct, Tesco’s non-grocery online retail outlet, is set to close down on 9 July 2018.
The website currently sells a large range of non-food items, from clothes and toys to electricals and homeware. Tesco, the biggest supermarket in the UK, said that a review of the website concluded that it was making a loss, with ‘no route to profitability’. It cited ‘significant challenges, including high costs for fulfilment and online marketing’ as the reasons for its decision.
Tesco Direct scored well in our latest survey asking consumers about the best and worst online shops, back in December 2017.
The Tesco Direct fulfilment centre at Fenny Lock, Milton Keynes, will also close when Tesco Direct ceases trading. The closure of the website puts 500 jobs at risk of redundancy.
How does the closure affect customers?
Online grocery shoppers will not be affected by the closure, and customers can already buy toys, home and cookware, and some of the other items that were available on Tesco Direct from Tesco.com. The supermarket aims to gradually introduce more non-grocery items to its main website, with the ambition of focusing on a single online platform, to create a ‘simpler online experience for customers’.
Charles Wilson, CEO of Tesco UK & ROI, said, ‘This decision has been a very difficult one to make, but it is an essential step towards establishing a more sustainable non-food offer and growing our business for the future.
‘We want to offer our customers the ability to buy groceries and non-food products in one place and that’s why we are focusing our investment into one online platform.’
How does this affect my consumer rights?
Wherever you shop, you have certain consumer rights that allow you to return items and get refunds if there is a problem with your purchase.
Tesco says that it will continue to operate its normal returns policies (which includes a 30-day return policy for most items) until 9 July, but after this date it may not be able to offer replacement items, as not everything sold on the website is sold in store. Whether it offers replacements before 9 July will depend on availability.
Items that go out of stock on Tesco Direct are unlikely to be restocked.
What to watch out for
From 22 May Tesco will no longer have order points available in-store to order from Tesco Direct. The Click+Collect desks will be able to help with orders from Tesco.com.
Also from 22 May, Tesco Direct will no longer offer next-day delivery. Instead, orders will take 2-5 days to arrive. The same applies to Click+Collect orders.
If you have pre-ordered anything from Tesco Direct that’s due to arrive after 9 July, this order will be cancelled. In this case, Tesco will get in touch via email to refund your account.