/ Shopping

Tesco Direct closure: will you miss it?

The non-food arm of Tesco’s online offering, Tesco Direct, will cease to exist from 9 July, but will you even notice that it’s gone? 

According to a statement from Tesco, it is closing its Tesco Direct shopping website because it was making a loss, with ‘no route to profitability’.

Launched in 2006, the catalogue-style site sold a wide variety of items such as clothes, toys, home, electricals and cookware, which Tesco says its customers can already buy in store or from its grocery website, Tesco.com

It feels like the closure of Tesco Direct should be a watershed moment for online shoppers, but is it really?

Direct to store

In our latest survey (December 2017) of 10,500 online shoppers, Tesco Direct gained a respectable 75% customer score, so it seemed fairly popular.

But with many of Tesco’s larger stores stocking the same or similar items sold on the Direct site, it was, to my mind, beginning to feel a bit redundant.

In a saturated market, Tesco Direct didn’t seem to have that essential difference to make it stand out from the likes of Amazon, John Lewis and AO.com – which, incidentally, all scored higher in our survey of online shoppers.

Of course, it was handy to be able to get your Tesco Direct order delivered to your local Tesco branch, but the Click and Collect concept just isn’t new any more ­– high-street favourites such as Argos and Boots have offered it for years and the other grocers are also getting in on the act. There’s simply nothing unique about Tesco Direct these days.

Is Amazon the problem?

Personally, I’ve only ever bought something from Tesco Direct because it came up on the Google search higher than anything else or I wasn’t able to get it from Amazon.

And to me, therein lies the problem for Tesco Direct. The website was created to compete with Amazon but it simply couldn’t offer the same service. Amazon has been able to expand exponentially over the past few years – it has a marketplace, countless sectors and an ever-expanding selection of things you didn’t even realise you needed.

What’s more, if you sign up to Amazon Prime, you can have your purchases delivered to your home or collection point the next day – pretty handy when you’ve run out of cat food.

Prime also comes with other benefits including access to Amazon’s video streaming service, early access to the sales and other benefits that make it seem like a pretty sweet deal.

So as well as getting in food for your feline friend for the next day, within minutes you could be reading a brand new novel on your Kindle while listening to the latest tunes on the Echo. You don’t even have to leave home to do it. Tesco Direct just can’t compete with that.

I doubt I will miss Tesco Direct, but I will mourn the loss of competition in this market – even if it did come from the UK’s current largest supermarket.

What about you: will you miss Tesco Direct? If so, where will you shop instead? Or, if you never used it, what is your go-to online shop?

Comments

I agree that massive US conglomerates like Amazon are taking over this country but unless real radicalism in business practices takes place to help businesses here instead of concentration on the City then “Americanisation ” will be complete -“Hail to the Chief ” (Donald ) . Carphone Warehouse are closing 90 to 100 stores (depending on where you read it ) I am not a fan of theirs knowing their history and linkages elsewhere. What this country needs is investment in small businesses particularly in England as Scotland helps small businesses. Small businesses can rise up if helped instead of selling off to the USA. Raise the Union Jack – British is Best not the Stars + Stripes -America First (second and third ).

I have ordered from Tesco and had goods delivered to my local store. It was a good way of using the vouchers that arrive periodically in the post. My original reason for using click & collect systems was because I had assumed that if goods were faulty I could take them back to the supermarket from which I collected them. I don’t believe this is the case.

I would be interested to know where I can purchase goods online, have them delivered to a convenient shop and take them back to the shop if there is a problem. This saves having to be at home for a delivery and the hassle of returning goods bought online.

A village next to mine has that service in their small village shop/sub post office where goods can be delivered and picked up but I would need to check on the details Wavechange.

A number of local shops have a click and collect, and a returns, service for many retailers. I’ve used Tescos occasionally as we have a local store, but only because they had an item I wanted at the right price. There are plenty of other online sources to use.

Click and collect may be easier than I had thought, and I recall having an item sold by an eBay trader delivered to Argos.

What about returning faulty goods? I wonder which online retailers offer collection from somewhere convenient.

Amazon does. Extremely easy process offering a choice of locations or they offer to collect it from you. Much easier, in fact, than taking seomthing back to a shop.

I don’t use Amazon if I can avoid it. Apart from failing to respond properly over several safety issues, one of which I reported on Which? Convo, I agree with other concerns about the company having too much control, and not contributing enough in tax.

The independent “click and collect” shops often also provide a returns service.

I will check for click and collect shops but there were none nearby last time I checked.

Convenient options for me are rather limited, but I regularly visit Morrisons and Tesco. There is a Post Office in the village though that’s now much smaller than it was a few months ago. I wonder if there are any online retailers that would collect faulty goods from their premises.

Any links?

Edit: I’ll check with our Post Office, Duncan.

Thanks Malcolm but I’ve used this before and as I said there is nothing nearby. It might help someone else. If our town had a ring road it would have been easier.

I have used Tesco Direct for one purchase and was satisfied with the product, the price and the service. I have looked things up on Tesco Direct subsequently and either not found quite what I want or the product was available more conveniently or at a lower price elsewhere. Argos has usually beaten Tesco Direct and their delivery service is excellent. I shall not miss it although it is a shame when yet another shopping channel disappears – although I shed no tears for Tesco who have been in the vanguard of the rape and pillage of the high street and are now reaping their just desserts as other companies steal their trade. I no longer live anywhere near a big Tesco so will probably never buy non-food items from them again.

Tesco Direct doesn’t have anything to offer me and thus, I don’t use it. For groceries I go to the store and for anything on line it is usually Amazon, because, as others have said, It’s available and usually competitive. I still prefer to shop in real shops, but when they don’t have what I want, Amazon is the easy option. Delivery is still a nuisance, though some times one can have a time slot indicated. Delivery to a local shop sounds great, but more often than not there is a reason this can not be used. That could be improved

I loved using Tesco Direct, I will dearly miss it. Sad to see our British institutions going doown to the drain to American multinationals!

DerekP says:
30 May 2018

I’ve never used Tesco Direct.

tesco direct like sainsbury local and co-op useful for late night staple and small quantity shopping like big conglomerates are taking over like they took over the local corner shop

Kendo84 – I think you might be confusing Tesco Direct with Tesco Express or Tesco Metro which are small-scale stores offering 0600 – 2300 convenience shopping. Tesco Direct is an on-line catalogue-type operation for non-food goods which are then delivered to your local Tesco superstore for you to collect or delivered to your home in the case of large items and appliances.

It is true that the small supermarkets and filling station shops, operated by all the big four supermarket chains and others, have knocked out many other traders, especially bakers, florists, greengrocers, and CTN [confectionery, tobacco and news] shops, as well as milk rounds and other home-service traders.