Duncan Hoy

Duncan Hoy

Tesco has tasked a leading executive from the Netherlands’ second-biggest supermarket chain with turning round its biggest stores. 

Duncan Hoy, who was previously operations director at Jumbo, will join as managing director of large stores in June, reporting to Tony Hoggett, who has been promoted from UK retail director to become UK chief operating officer.

Hoy joins with Tesco continuing to try to re-purpose its largest stores, which have been threatened in recent years by the demise of general merchandise sales and the shift to online shopping.

However, there have been positive signs of a fightback by Tesco of late and CEO Dave Lewis has repeatedly described Tesco’s Extra line-up as an opportunity, not a millstone.

Hoy, whose career began as a captain in the Gurkhas, has worked for Jumbo since 2013, having previously headed up retail operations at C1000, which its rival swallowed up two years ago.

Jumbo has also been ramping up its in store grocery offer, including a Food Market proposition, which it billed as a low-priced version of Whole Foods Market, offering bakers, butchers, sommeliers and cheese specialists in store.

Tesco has been re-doubling efforts to improve the fresh offer at its Extra stores, including a major tasting exercise to back the recent launch of its Farm brands.

Until recently the big stores had been under a cloud, with Tesco’s moves to turn them into destination stores having mixed results and the threat of the axe often said to be hanging over ventures such as its Harris + Hoole coffee chain and Giraffe restaurants.

In February, it revealed Tesco was scrapping 24-hour trading at 76 Tesco Extra stores. It has sought to bolster its Extras by launching trial tie-ups with the Arcadia group, bringing names like Dorothy Perkins, Burton and Evans alongside its F&F offering at some stores.

Hoy’s arrival follows the appointment of Tesco customer strategy and insight director Tracey Clements as managing director for convenience and CEO of its One Stop business, following the departure of Tony Reed.

Hoggett will continue to have responsibility for all Tesco’s channels across the UK.