Britain’s biggest supermarket Tesco has announced it is launching a new chain of budget stores, called Jack’s.
The new chain will offer a small number of unique, low-cost, own-brand lines. Aside from a few key branded items, most products in store will be ‘Jack’s’ own-brand and eight out of 10 of them will be made or grown in Britain.
Its no-fuss approach appears to place it in line with other discounter stores. Along with its simplified range of products and emphasis on own-brand lines, Jack’s stores will also feature a range of general non-food merchandise on a ‘when it’s gone, it’s gone’ basis.
Jack’s is named after Jack Cohen, who founded Tesco as a market stall nearly 100 years ago in 1919. The first two stores will open on 20 September in Chatteris, Cambridgeshire and Immingham, Lincolnshire. There are plans for 10-15 more across the country over the next six months – in a mix of new sites, sites adjacent to current Tesco stores, and a small number of converted Tesco stores.
But how does Tesco compare with Aldi and Lidl? We’ve quizzed thousands of grocery shoppers in our best and worst supermarkets survey.
Could Tesco learn from Aldi and Lidl?
Tesco currently has the biggest grocery market share in Great Britain, with 27%. That compares with Aldi’s 8% and Lidl’s 6%. However, Aldi and Lidl are both growing rapidly.
It’s probably no surprise that customers love Aldi and Lidl’s value for money — leaving Tesco’s traditional stores struggling to keep up.
But Tesco still manages to beats its German discounter rivals on a significant number of other factors. And of course, Tesco offers online grocery deliveries, whereas Aldi and Lidl don’t. Jack’s does not currently have an online offering.
Alex Neill, Managing Director of Which? Home Products and Services, said: ‘With food prices rising, many shoppers have started to reject the big four supermarkets in favour of the discounters who have done a better job of giving people what they want.
‘We know that more and more households prioritise good value and good quality produce over in-store experience, forcing more traditional stores to find new ways to attract shoppers.’
Aldi’s and Lidl’s secrets revealed
Shopper’s spending habits are big business and different types of supermarkets use different tactics to get us to part with our cash.
We looked at the secrets behind store layouts, shelf presentation and similar-looking products in a recent investigation.
We found discount stores such as Aldi and Lidl have a more limited stock and sell far fewer branded items, while their own-brand items tend to look like the market-leading branded equivalent, although there is no evidence they are directly copying. They also employ distraction techniques — who hasn’t picked up an unexpected item in Aldi or Lidl’s special aisles?
Find out more about how discounters differ from traditional supermarkets when it comes to supermarket psychology.
The changing face of the supermarket
Tesco’s announcement is just the latest example of the fast-changing nature of the UK grocery market.
Sainsbury’s and Asda announced plans for a merger earlier this year to become the UK’s biggest retail chain. The Competition and Markets Authority yesterday announced that the deal raises sufficient concern to be referred for an in-depth investigation. It comes after Sainsbury’s bought Argos two years ago and Tesco was given the go-ahead to take over food wholesaler Booker last year.
Meanwhile Morrisons has been supplying groceries to Amazon’s UK customers for two and a half years.
Find out more about the history of the UK’s supermarkets.