Speaking exclusively to The Grocer following the opening last Monday of one of the first stores to be converted, in Maida Vale, London, Adminstore chief executive Ken McMeikan, who is overseeing the £10m to £15m conversion programme, said: “We’ve spent quite a bit of time looking at what the single customer wants. One thing that we’ve picked up from our consumer research is the emphasis on fresh food.
“Before, customers might have walked into the newspapers [area] first. Now they walk into fresh. We’ll replicate the model based on the customer profile.”
As well as locating fresh produce down the first aisle for the first time in an Express store, Tesco has increased the number of lines 20-30% and brought in an additional 10 loose lines - twice what a standard Express store would stock.
It has also ramped up the number of wines and beers, organic products, sliced meats and ready meals, using the store to launch a range of four fresh pasta dishes that it plans to roll out to its larger residential stores. Several ethnic lines have been introduced including Lebanese and kosher food.
So far two other stores have been converted, in Weybridge and Hove, taking the total number of Express stores to 350. McMeikan said Tesco was well on track to meet its target of 500 this year and complete the Adminstore conversion programme by mid-2005.