Tesco was a pioneer in online’s infancy. In the opinion of the judges, its actions in 2013 showed not only how far it has come in the intervening years, but how forward thinking and genuinely innovative it continues to be.

Online sales grew 11% last year - no mean feat given Tesco.com is already far and away the biggest online grocery business in the UK, with sales of £2.5bn. And at £127m its profitability is not exactly shabby, either.

In 2013, it opened up its website to third-party sellers, Amazon-style, allowing it to boost the number of items available on the website to more than 300,000, almost 10 times the number of products it offers in even its biggest bricks and mortar stores.

The judges were also impressed by Hudl, Tesco’s first foray into the tablet world (it also has a smartphone on the way), not just as a product, but in the way it supports the online business, coming preloaded with various Tesco apps to shop for everything from groceries to Tesco’s streaming online entertainment service Blinkbox.

Tesco’s focus on click & collect facilities, and the expansion of its increasingly popular drive-though model, also impressed.

Nor has Tesco ignored the nuts and bolts. While there is still in-store collection, the increased sophistication and productivity of its growing dark store network, which expanded to six stores in October with the addition of a 120,000 sq ft operation in Erith, also earned praise.

The innovation has demonstrated vision and understanding of the shopper journey and how online and bricks & mortar can combine to deliver strong, profitable growth.