The UK’s largest supermarket is on the front foot again today, launching its new budget store: Jack’s. But will it really rival Aldi, Lidl and other discounters?
Aldi and Lidl have really shaken up the UK grocery market over the last few years. Shoppers are increasingly prioritising price over customer experience and, thanks to Aldi and Lidl, have learned they do not need to sacrifice quality to do so.
Aldi came top of Which?’s annual supermarket survey earlier this year – knocking perennial favourite Waitrose down the rankings.
And at first blush at least, it seems Tesco is hoping for a bite of the very same pie.
Like Aldi and Lidl, Jack’s will carry a limited number of carefully-chosen selected lines. These, we are promised, will be low-cost but still quality products.
Like Aldi and Lidl, the branding and design of Jack’s is back-to-basics. And like Aldi and Lidl, there will be a ‘specials’-type aisle selling non-food products in the middle of the stores.
The emphasis on selling British products and produce may set it apart though, at least in shoppers’ minds. Eight in 10 of Jack’s food and drink products will be made, grown or reared in Britain.
And initially, at least, there are only plans for 10-15 Jack’s stores across the country, in a mix of new sites, sites next to current Tesco stores, and a small number of converted Tesco stores
I like to think I’m a fickle shopper and tend to vary shopping at one of the ‘Big Four’ supermarkets – Asda, Morrisons, Tesco and Sainsbury’s – with the occasional visit to Aldi, Lidl and Waitrose.
I like the idea of Jack’s, particularly its emphasis on selling British produce, combined with low cost and high quality.
Sink or swim
But whether it will be a business success remains to be seen. Tesco rivals Sainsbury’s and Asda have both tried and failed to launch similar discounter spin-offs in recent years.
Sainsbury’s opened a string of Netto stores in partnership with the Danish chain’s parent group in 2014, shutting them down two years later. And in 2006 Asda tried launching Asda Essentials, only to close it down 10 months later.
Jack’s will have to differentiate itself significantly from other Tesco-branded stores. And it seems a shame it won’t offer Clubcard points or online shopping.
Do you think budget supermarkets are the future? Is the emphasis on buying British something you support? Would you give Jack’s a go – and do you think it will be a success?
Will you shop at Jack's?
No – There are already enough discounter stores. (52%, 44 Votes)
Yes – I like the sound of it. (48%, 40 Votes)
Total Voters: 84