from Richard Mills, director of retail, SAP (UK)

Sir; The news that Tesco continues to soar ahead of the competition will come as no surprise to its peers in the retail sector. Tesco is miles ahead of the pack for one very simple reason - it listens to its customers’ requirements.
Arguably, the foundation of its success has been how it has mined the reams of customer data generated by the Tesco Clubcard. No other retailer has such an in-depth understanding of who its customers are, what they want, how they want it delivered and at what price. The value of this knowledge is demonstrated by the additional three million UK customers Tesco attracted in the past six months.
Additionally, while some rivals struggle to get products on the shelves, Tesco has a rapid, flexible supply chain that allows it to replenish goods as needed.
Tesco has no revolutionary formula for success. Understanding customers’ buying habits and having a supply chain that ensures shelves are never empty are the simple fundamentals of retailing that are, for many, surprisingly hard to get right. Tesco has set the gold standard, now it’s time for its rivals to rise to the challenge.