Tesco ready to take on Aldi and Lidl in discount war

UK’s largest retailer is recruiting staff to work in a new store format

Tesco’s plans are another symptom of the pressures exerted by the rapid growth  of Aldi and Lidl since the 2008 financial crisis

Tesco’s plans are another symptom of the pressures exerted by the rapid growth of Aldi and Lidl since the 2008 financial crisis

 

Tesco is readying a new chain of discount stores in the company’s most direct offensive on Aldi and Lidl to date.

The UK’s largest retailer is recruiting for staff to work in the new store format at sites in Immingham in northeast England and in Chatteris, about 80 miles north of London, according to postings on the LinkedIn social network.

Tesco acquired both sites before chief executive officer Dave Lewis took over in 2014, and they have been dormant since.

“Tesco will be competing with Aldi and Lidl in what they do best,” Berenberg analyst Dusan Milosavljevic said . It would need to be bold as “half-measure, trial-like” store openings were doomed to fail.

Tesco’s plans are another symptom of the pressures exerted by Aldi and Lidl’s rapid growth since the 2008 financial crisis, which sparked a price war that slashed profit margins across the industry.

The company’s dominance is under renewed threat from J Sainsbury’s proposal to buy Walmart’s Asda in a $10 billion (€8.57bn) deal that would create a new leader in the UK’s grocery industry.

Tesco may name the chain Jack’s, in homage to its founder Jack Cohen, according to reports , which reported that the company may begin opening the stores in September.

The chain will be Tesco’s second new format of stores since acquiring wholesaler Booker this year. Tesco has opened two Chef Central outlets, which stock larger sizes of products aimed at catering professionals and families looking to save money by buying in bulk.

Tesco also cut prices on its own-brand products last month, and is forming a purchasing alliance with French supermarket Carrefour SA to increase its leverage with suppliers.

Aldi and Lidl have increased their UK market share to almost 13 per cent, according to Kantar Worldpanel.

Tesco Ireland declined to comment.

– Bloomberg