Tesco today announced a £48.6m deal to buy the Giraffe restaurant chain.
The family-friendly eastery currently has 48 stores in the UK. Tesco plans to open Giraffe branches in spaces on its largest sites, including out-of-town hypermarkets. The move comes as the retailer attempts to overhaul its biggest stores in response to the shift of non-food shopping to online purchases.
Tesco has already bought a major stake in coffee chain Harris + Hoole, snapping up a 49% share last year, which will see a number of coffee shops open in stores. It has also been forging ties with other food and restaurant companies such as Costa Coffee.
Tesco group commercial director Kevin Grace said the retailer planned to create the sort of malls seen in the US, Europe and Asia and take full ownership of companies that appealed to families looking for a destination location.
“We’ve been doing a lot of thinking about retail destinations and how our stores might become somewhere that people spend more time, as well as shop” - Kevin Grace, Tesco
“We’ve been doing a lot of thinking about retail destinations and how our stores might become somewhere that people spend more time, as well as shop,” he said.
“With more general merchandise moving online, we have a great opportunity to rethink how we use the space in some of our larger stores.
“Lots of our larger stores in Asia have restaurants regularly used by customers to meet their friends and spend time together. People like being able to take a break and relax after their shopping trip. Similarly, if you’ve ever visited Westfield, you’ll know that people go there to meet, eat and drink as much as they do to shop.
“There’s no reason that supermarkets can’t offer something similar here.”
Grace said Tesco approached Giraffe at the start of the year.
“They’re a family-run business with a strong brand and a fresh, seasonal, quality menu that has something for everyone. Where possible, they’ll sit adjacent to or outside the main Tesco store.”