LONDON — The CEO of Tesco insists the supermarket can be as innovative as the likes of HelloFresh and Amazon, and says it is experimenting with new ideas such as meal kits and checkout-free stores.
Dave Lewis was peppered with questions about competition with Amazon at a press conference in London this week, following Amazon’s acquisition of US grocer Whole Foods earlier this year.
Amazon has also been experimenting with checkout-free stores in the US and plans to launch them out in the UK too. Lewis said that Tesco is also looking at this model.
“We’re trial lots and lots of things — the thing you refer to, yes — but we’ll only talk about it when we’ve done it everywhere,” Lewis said.
“The idea that I would come to the market and say, in this one shop we are — I’ve got 3,600 shops. When we’re at a place where we’ve got something we want to launch to all customers, we’ll launch it and we’ll communicate it. We’ve been doing it for a while. Nothing to announce.”
Business Insider also asked Lewis if he was concerned about the rise of subscription meal boxes such as HelloFresh and Gusto that deliver pre-measured ingredients for recipes.
Lewis said: “There’s no reason we couldn’t put together ingredients and serve it to customers as a meal kit in stores if that’s what they want from us. There are a number of trials in our stores about exactly that so we can change our offer if ultimately that’s how customers want us to operate.”
He added: “We test a whole lot.”
Lewis highlighted the success of Tesco Now, the supermarket’s new one-hour delivery service, as an example of a recent successfully launched innovation.
He was talking at a press conference for Tesco’s half-year results, which showed sales up by 3.3% and operating profit up 27.4%.