Tesco accelerates UK turnaround drive

Tesco accelerates UK turnaround drive

Tesco will "accelerate" efforts to turnaround its UK business while also capping capital expenditure, the company said today (25 February).

In an investor seminar this afternoon, Tesco will detail plans to improve its domestic sales performance and reverse declining market share trends.

The UK's largest retailer has seen its domestic share eroded as consumers shun the group's big box stores. The company has been hit by competition from both sides as the discounters, Aldi and Lidl, and more up-market grocers, Waitrose and Sainsbury's, accelerate growth.

Responding to these trends, Tesco launched a turnaround plan for the UK, where it generates the lion's share of group profits, last year. Tesco increased its focus on fresh food, re-vamped its own label lines, started investing in refreshing its store base while also investing in price and in-store experience.

To date, it would seem that these efforts have failed to improve Tesco's UK fortunes. According to the latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel, in the 12 weeks to 5 January Tesco saw its market share continue to slip year-on-year, dropping to 29.2% of UK sales compared with 30% a year ago.

Tesco said that it will detail plans to accelerate its store refresh project. The group plans to improve its proposition by increasing investment in "sharper prices, improved quality, stronger ranges and better service".

Tesco added it will maintain its "disciplined" approach to capital expenditure. Tesco will implement a "significant reduction" in planned net new space growth, the company revealed. It will therefore reduce capex to "no more" than GBP2.5bn (US$4.21bn) a year for the next three financial years, the retailer revealed.