The Tesco machine has fired on all cylinders this past year, and this year’s Gold Awards is ample evidence of that.
It won a clutch of prizes, including online supermarket of the year; national wholesaler of the year (Booker); and symbol of the year (Premier). It also retained The Grocer 33 availability award for the fourth year running, despite the industry’s widespread supply chain issues last year, and was voted Britain’s Favourite Supermarket once again.
And topping off the night, Tesco won our most prestigious award: The Grocer of the Year. Against strong competition from the resurgent discounters Aldi and Lidl, and the recovery of Marks & Spencer, Tesco prevailed off the back of its strength in depth.
There are countless operators in its various markets looking to undermine, disrupt and outmanoeuvre Tesco in this formidably competitive sector. But Tesco seemed to find answers to all of them, and delivered a superb performance for all its stakeholders, including a 36% increase in profits to £2.65bn in its recent annual results (ahead of consensus), and its biggest market share in four years, according to Kantar, with gains mostly from big four rivals.
Crucially, Tesco has not just responded to current conditions, as tempting as that might appear given the myriad challenges of the past three years. It is also setting itself up for the future with an evolution of its multi-faceted proposition.
On the value side, one of the highlights has been the success of its Clubcard Prices initiative, which has recaptured the imagination of Tesco Clubcard users. Rolled out last year to include the Express stores, over 20 million households now use Clubcard and 8.5 million use the Tesco app too.
And the ‘magnetic value’ of this initiative lies not only in drawing customers in but powering its new media and insight platform, a potentially powerful new revenue stream.
With the growing cost of living crisis, Tesco also doubled down on its Aldi Price Match, while a relaunch of its Everyday Low Prices strategy – focusing on personal care and household lines – shows it has its sights set on the variety discounters too.
Underpinning the inflation fight is a huge £1bn cost reduction programme.
Online, Tesco has emerged from the pandemic with an extra one million delivery slots, adding £2.8bn in extra sales and 700,000 new customers. But it’s not standing still, with investment in extra click & collect facilities, rapid delivery, just walk out technology and the belated rollout of its urban fulfilment centres. Nor should the strides made by Booker online be underestimated.
And finally, Tesco has made impressive strides on the ESG front, including the launch of soft plastic recycling in all large stores and the UK’s biggest electric car charging network, while stepping up its commitment to food waste reduction, its food waste heroes saving 5.6 million meals, with 72,000 people benefiting from food that would otherwise have gone to waste.
Grocer Gold Awards 2022: the winners
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Grocer Gold Awards 2022: the grocer of the year