Sir: The news about Tesco’s first-quarter sales slump isn’t unexpected. Such a big turnaround is needed and this takes time - especially with the discounters continuing to redefine the market. It isn’t simply a case of reclaiming old ground, but of working out the new landscape and defining which part of it is up for grabs. There are glimmers of hope with the newly refurbished stores showing sales growth, but with such a large estate these changes are only touching a very small proportion of shoppers, so most are left wondering if Tesco is attempting to change.
Price wars in isolation are unlikely to help individual retailers as all price wars do is encourage shopping around and disloyal shopping behaviour. The lack of impact of its new price initiative reinforces suspicions of a continuing disconnect between Tesco and shoppers - despite the fact Tesco has the treasure trove of Dunnhumby data.
With so much choice now available, shoppers are not just being savvy about price, but also about where and when they shop. Retailers need to flex their business and their stores to meet the needs of a whole range of shoppers. And that means a big shift in strategy for Tesco - and big shifts not only take effort, but time and commitment.
Danielle Pinnington, founder and owner, Shoppercentric