Tesco will give shoppers a taste of the future of retail-park shopping with the official opening of its new-look Extra store in Watford on Monday 12 August.
The 80,000 sq ft site has been completely renovated and incorporates what Tesco describes as “the very latest in retail innovation”. The store brings under one roof the businesses and brands Tesco has been steadily adding its portfolio – including a Giraffe restaurant, a Harris + Hoole coffee shop, a Euphorium Bakery and The Bakery Project.
“This isn’t the answer – it is part of the answer. It’s a test of many propositions under one roof”
Tony Hoggett, Tesco
The Watford store places an emphasis on fresh food and food to go, and includes a new-look general merchandise area with a focus on homeware; a community space available for yoga and baby gym; and a concession of its F&F clothing chain, which is mostly found in Europe and the Middle East but has begun making appearances on UK soil.
“This isn’t the answer – it is part of the answer. It’s a test of many propositions under one roof,” Tesco Extra MD Tony Hoggett told The Grocer.
“The revamp of Watford and other trial stores that will launch in the next week in Coventry and Purley are all part of the initial £1bn allocated by Tesco for its store refurbishment programme,” Hoggett said, adding that more money would be available if the model proved successful.
“They aren’t just one-off gimmicks; they are all things that are absolutely scalable but we’ve ensured that they are also affordable. This is one version of a future destination store.”
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The coffee shop chain’s founder goes walk about on the floor of the coffee shop concession
The move comes as Tesco looks to combat the shift to online shopping and make better use of its larger stores. It aims to create “retail destinations” that will entice consumers with services beyond just grocery shopping. This could include stores with food courts, dry cleaners, hairdressers and gyms.
Tesco UK’s managing director Chris Bush said: “We’ve spoken a lot about our vision to create compelling retail destinations in our larger stores; places where customers come to spend time and meet their friends and family. Watford is the first store where many of our innovations and ideas have come together and it’s great to see it all under one roof.”
The community space within the Watford store measures 60 sq ft and will be available for groups to hire free of charge, Tesco said.
The store is available to view on Google Street View.
Ian Quinn contributed to this report.