Tesco has announced plans to complete the roll out of its online grocery platform to all 12 of its international markets by 2014. The retailer plans to launch in Thailand in April, followed by China in June or July, and finishing with Turkey in January of next year.
Tesco is the largest online food retailer in the world and provides online grocery shopping in the UK, Ireland, Korea, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Malaysia, with the UK serving as a blueprint for its international roll out. A common technology and operational model allows the retailer to launch in any market within three to six months, with the grocer typically starting in the capital city and using local stores as hubs.
Tesco’s two biggest international businesses are in South Korea and Thailand, where Tesco hypermarkets are often located within shopping centres. In the UK, Tesco is seeking to develop its supermarkets into similar ‘retail destinations’ with the recent acquisition of the Giraffe restaurant chain and Harris + Hoole coffee shops.
Trevor Masters, Tesco’s Asia Chief Executive, said: “Creating retail destinations is something we have been doing for some time in Asia and we have learned a lot about creating a compelling offer for local customers. In the UK we are working on creating retail destinations and Asia gives us valuable experience to learn from. Every market is different and one size won’t fit all but it means we have insight which may help to guide our thinking in other markets.”
Tesco’s Chief Executive, Philip Clarke, recently said that Tesco intends to increase its investment in digital technology to $750 million this year as consumers worldwide increasingly shop via online, mobile devices and tablet computers.
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