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Britton Manasco specializes in customer-focused initiatives that build business credibility and strengthen sales growth. His articles have appeared in Harvard Business Review; The New York Times; Sales and Marketing Management; CIO Magazine; 1to1 Magazine; and many other media outlets.
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February 09, 2006

British Invasion: The Tesco Test

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Posted by Britton

Get ready for an acceleration of intelligence-driven retailing in America. Indeed, this is one area of business in which the real innovators in customer intelligence have been overseas as opposed to the U.S. Now, one key retail player -- UK-based Tesco PLC -- is coming to the states to compete against other retail powerhouses such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Costco Wholesale Corp.

Tesco intends to set up shop on the U.S. West Coast in 2007 with a convenience-store format. The company intends to annually invest £250 million ($436.1 million) on its West Coast expansion. It has already entered China and other emerging markets and half its shelf space is outside the UK.

"We have been watching the U.S. market for many years, but never thought we had the right approach and format for the American consumer," Chief Executive Terry Leahy said. "We could have gone in before, but our new format is tailored to the U.S. and brings something original."

Of course, there are skeptics. UK-based J Sainsbury PLC, the U.K. supermarket group, for instance, performed miserably in the US and eventually pulled out. "Any company which tries to enter the U.S. market ends up destroying shareholder value," said a trader in a Wall Street Journal article.

But they were not the innovators in customer intelligence that Tesco has turned out to be. That could prove a serious competitive advantage. "Everyone is an important competitor and you try to respect them and learn from them, but not be the same even though we're all competing for the same dollar," Leahy said.

Comments (6) + TrackBacks (0) | Category:


1. ezak on February 11, 2006 04:56 PM writes...

i look abut love my name is ezak from egypt im 24 singl i work in hotel im barman

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2. Sven Owen on February 15, 2006 10:51 PM writes...

Thank you Ezak, but we're talking about Tesco here. If you are looking for like minded friends, you may try

Tesco will have a real uphill battle in the US, as there's not much that their retail strategy will have over WalMart's or the Costco type stores. It may just end up like a KMart, that was between a slick Target and a cheap WalMart and nobody wanted it.

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3. Fred on February 16, 2006 04:51 AM writes...

If Tesco is setting up a convenience store format, then they will not be competing against Wal-Mart and Costco, but against 7-Eleven and (eventually) Speedway/SuperAmerica.

But if any of these outfits want to buy my shopping data from me, then they'll have to pay me a discount up front, say 1-2 percent, because I'm not about to fuss around with coupons.

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4. Lucretia on February 28, 2006 12:19 AM writes...

jgvokeea wutlg

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5. Lucretia on February 28, 2006 12:22 AM writes...

jgvokeea wutlg

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6. Wholesale on May 16, 2006 08:45 PM writes...

Tesco do not sell wholesale so how can they be competing with Costco Wholesale company. Also they will be getting lots of shops in Thailand to compete with 7/11

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