Rumour Has it Tesco is Going After Lidl and Aldi With its Own Discount Stores

By Tom Pritchard on at

Tesco is one of the biggest companies in the UK, and you can tell because there are Tescos everywhere - be they Express, Metro, Regular or Extra. If rumours are to be believed, though, there may be a fifth kind of Tesco hitting the streets. A discount version designed to compete with the likes of Aldi and Lidl.

Tesco Express might be nice and convenient, but it's not exactly helpful that it's more expensive than the big supermarkets - something made worse by the fact the stock is almost exclusively the more expensive famous brands. Plus with the rise in popularity of discount chains after the last recession, you can understand why bigger supermarkets might be concerned.

So it makes sense when industry insiders say that Tesco will be launching a new discount chain in 60 locations as early as September. Apparently the chain may be called 'Jack's' rather than Tesco Something, noticed after someone within Tesco tried to register a retail trademark under that name. While that seems a little bit random, it's likely named after Tesco founder Jack Cohen. The supermarket is also advertising for new staff for a different branch of the company, which is described as operating separately from Tesco proper. it also confirmed that a Tesco metro in St Helens will be reopening under a new name.

This isn't the first time a supermarket has tried to enter the discount business. Remember Netto? Following the sale of all their existing stores to Asda, they relaunched in the UK as part of a partnership between Sainsbury's and the Danish chain in 2014. But they ended up closing the 16 stores after two years. Tesco Similarly tried out the 'Victor Value' brand in the '80s, but management feared it would undermine the main brand and put a stop to it after four years.

It's unclear what we might expect, but word is that the acquisition of wholesaler Booker is to play a key part - suggesting the new stores may be more akin to Costco and other warehouse-based retailers than a traditional supermarket. But if it keeps costs down I don't really care what format they take. The less we have to pay for good food, the better. [The Guardian]