Tesco has called on suppliers to help it reinvigorate its UK stores and improve its event marketing and in-store theatre - so it can raise its game against rivals.

An estimated 1,500 suppliers attended a presentation at Wembley Stadium on Tuesday to hear Tesco CEO Philip Clarke and his management team outline Tesco’s strategy.

Veterans of the event, staged by IGD, told The Grocer there was a “strikingly different tone” to previous occasions and that Tesco was not only less bullish, but more open to supplier ideas on how to turn around its recent performance.

“It’s a wounded animal,” said one leading sales director. “There’s a certain swagger we’ve all got used to that was missing this time. It was the first time I’ve witnessed deep reflection on the business.”

During the presentation, Tony Hoggett, Tesco’s MD of superstores, told suppliers it wanted to increase its in-store marketing and called for suggestions from suppliers on how to make stores more welcoming.

“Previously they have had so much confidence in their own brand that they have watered down any branding of an event in store,” said a supplier.

“It’s something the competition does particularly well,” said another supplier. “I think they are looking to become more like Asda in that respect.”

UK marketing director David Wood told delegates that Tesco planned to “re-engage” with consumers.

“They’ve had a reality check and recognise they need to up their game,” said another top supplier.