- The strategy has involved tackling many shortcomings, but they can all be seen as contributing towards the strengthening of the brand. The company sold a number of its side businesses – including the Harris + Hoole coffee shops and Giraffe restaurants – recognizing that, as well as being distractions at a time it could hardly afford them, they did not benefit its most important brand by far: Tesco.
- Instead, the focus was on re-associating Tesco with the qualities retailers need to thrive: value, service and convenience. It ensured more staff were available in-store and improved availability – in part by slashing the size of its range. It introduced services such as same-day Click & Collect, and became the first supermarket to partner tech platform IFTTT, offering automated online shopping.
- Tesco made a bolder play than its rivals, introducing a series of “farm” brands for its economy-tier fresh produce. Inspired directly by the style of branding used by the discounters, it was a controversial move, with the invented farm names prompting criticism from branding experts and leading the National Farmers Union to refer Tesco to trading standards. But Lewis later insisted the products had been received positively, with an 80% repeat purchase rate, and that they were core to the supermarket’s improving metrics.