Tesco has called for a new era of closer co-operation with suppliers after admitting it had been too confrontational in its approach.
New UK MD Chris Bush and recently appointed UK food commercial director John Scouler unveiled a new trading charter at an IGD briefing to hundreds of suppliers at Wembley last week.
They said that under the charter, Tesco would prioritise innovation and joint working and the principles of “win together, innovate, trust and respect, helpful and responsiveness, warmth and courtesy and pride”.
The Grocer understands the UK chiefs also admitted at the briefing that Tesco had been guilty of “arrogance, bureaucracy and hierarchy” in the past.
The retailer urged its major suppliers to collaborate with it on NPD and in-store theatre and outlined proposals for a series of ‘Joint Accelerated Growth’ programmes. It presented a case study on its work with Arla last summer to launch the Yum portfolio of spreads, which it claimed had carved out a new market that had allowed both retailer and supplier to grow.
“It was a complete breath of fresh air,” said one supplier who attended the event. “They were very candid about a desire to change the culture and work more closely with suppliers, which was music to our ears.”
Another said: “The strategy seems very joined up. I was very impressed. It feels like there is a genuine desire for a different approach.”
Bush also reiterated Tesco’s intention to move away from big out-of-town hypermarkets to concentrate on convenience.
The retailer will continue with its investment in extra staff and training to tackle the issue of stores “running too hot”, he confirmed, echoing CEO Philip Clarke’s comments last March.