Tesco "likely" to quit the States as Mason departs

  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save

Tesco boss Philip Clarke today revealed it was ”likely” the retailer would quit the US, after announcing a strategic review of its struggling Fresh & Easy chain and the immediate departure of its CEO Tim Mason.

Mason’s exit, after 30 years at Tesco, came as the supermarket giant claimed to have had several approaches from potential buyers of the business or joint backers.

However, outright closure of the chain is also a strong consideration, admitted Clarke.

He said he had decided it would have been “inappropriate” for Mason, the latest in a string of senior figures to leave the retailer, to head the review.

“We’ve now concluded that Fresh & Easy is not going to deliver acceptable shareholder return in its current form,” he added.

“We’ve had a number of approaches from potential buyers or partners.

“It might lead to us selling Fresh & Easy, it might lead to us closing it down.

“It’s likely, but not certain that our presence in America will come to an end.”

The results of the review will be announced in April and Tesco has appointed advisers Greenhill to assist with the process.

Fresh & Easy’s like-for-like sales performance fell below 2% in today’s Q3 results and Tesco also admitted previous measures to concentrate on increasing profitability by slowing down its expansion plans were not enough to satisfy its investors.

Meanwhile UK like-for-likes excluding petrol and VAT fell 0.6%. However Clarke pointed out that like-for-like food sales were up 1.2% and online grocery sales has climbed 15% in the quarter.

He said the £1bn UK turnaround plan was beginning to reap rewards with Tesco’s offer “significantly stronger” in the run up to Christmas than last year, backed by its new heavyweight advertising campaign.

“I’m really pleased about the performance of food. The offer is improving and customers are starting to respond,” he added.

Have your say

These comments have not been moderated.

You are encouraged to participate with comments that are relevant to our news stories. You should not post comments that are abusive, threatening, defamatory, misleading or invasive of privacy. For the full terms and conditions for commenting see clause 7 of our Terms and Conditions ‘Participating in Online Communities’. These terms may be updated from time to time, so please read them before posting a comment.

Any comment that violates these terms may be removed in its entirety as we do not edit comments.

If you wish to complain about a comment please use the “report this comment” facility or email groceremails@wrbm.com

Mandatory
Mandatory
Mandatory
Mandatory

Related images

  • Tesco Fresh & Easy delivery truck
  • TIM MASON LARGE
  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
Sign in

Newsletter Sign-up

Free

I wish to receive the following newsletters:

For Members

Become a Gold Member to receive these newsletters:

Become a Finance Member to receive these newsletters:

Become a member of The Grocer

DIRECTORY

The+Grocer+Directory

CLICK HERE to search for the products, services and companies you need in the definitive guide to the UK food and drink industry.

FOLLOW THE GROCER

The Grocer's commentators and opinion makers