Sir: I read with interest about Tesco’s new Extra format (‘Tesco’s vision of big-scale retailing takes shape in Watford,’ 17 August). It’s further evidence that winning in the new world of shopping is not simply about switching all your focus to digital.
As a shopper, I will admit that life without digital channels is now incomprehensible. The new speed of comparison, word of mouth and education that technology empowers shoppers with has changed the way I shop. I can now differentiate between the things that are important and the things that are just everyday essentials, and match my shopping behaviour accordingly.
But this also means real-world retail experiences need to be alluring, engaging and meaningful. And this is what is so right about Tesco’s response.
Most people care about the quality of meat they buy, the freshness of their bread and carefully selecting their own fruit and vegetables - so it follows that we’ll connect with a store that shows it cares about this as much as we do.
The store is no longer a purely transactional environment with aisle upon aisle of loaded shelves. The shopper can relax, have a coffee, browse and put the humdrum of everyday life to the side for a moment.
If this vision is indeed rolled out to Tesco’s larger formats to create retail destinations, they will be perfect environments for brands to excite shoppers in new ways.
I hope Tesco sticks to its guns and rolls out an experience shoppers can truly engage with emotionally.
Rachelle Headland, MD, Saatchi & Saatchi X UK