Tesco Watford – Wow – Taster blog (Love Every Mouthful).

Every now and then, new store concepts appear and make you think that things may well change in the wider market. Morrisons Fresh format (or store of the future) were the first one I covered that changed the landscape, a real focus on fresh, shaking up the wider market. Similarly the M Local concept was also shaking up things with a focus on fresh foods and remodelled stores, the competition were in and taking notes.

Tesco, so often putting their foot down and being ahead of the curve with online, with convenience found themselves lumbered with a store estate that had been under invested in leading to tired, decrepit stores, existing staff overworked and stores under staffed. A grim shopping experience for sure.

H&H Coffee
H&H is the part owned Coffee chain, popular in London.

However, the first signs that the tide was turning was the announcement of store refreshes, these were designed around ‘wood’ (and lots of it) along with a fresh lick of Paint and new signage. Nothing groundbreaking, almost lining the sand in terms of bringing stores up to a level that was acceptable, putting colleagues back in stores, injecting a sense of pride.

London has chugged along very well with bespoke formats launched in Regent St and Tooley St (Metro) and Marylebone (Express) but these are currently limited to the capital, they’re experiential too, far more than their previous incarnations. Indeed, you could argue that Tooley St & ┬áRegent St will now put to bed those rumours about the death of the Metro format.

That brings us nicely to Watford, much has been made of this on Twitter. Incognito pictures have been taken but as ever, the Grocery Insight blog gets access to the store showing departments in detail with clear photographs.

The full blog will be live next week, it’ll need some time spending on it to capture everything in detail. The herculean effort from all teams both at HQ and in stores is immense to both pull the vision together and then execute in store.

Phil Clarke was in store today, he visited at the weekend too, his first words were apparently ‘wow’.

I have to say I do share his sentiments.

Keep an eye on the blog next week for a full visit report, below are a few selected images of the store.

GM Watford
GM Is remodelled and hugely impressive.
H&B is aspirational too.
H&B is aspirational too.
Sports and Nutri Centre is modelled on the best in the industry.
Sports and Nutri Centre is modelled on the best in the industry.
Cocktails Watford
The Cocktail zone is an example of merchandising together to meet customer needs.
GM Watford2
GM is the key difference, real thought is given to displaying products attractively.
Big Night in
Innovative ‘events’ are merchandised across the store. Big Night in ties in with Blinkbox.
Produce Mist
Misting vegetables add an air of ‘specialty’ to the Produce department. (whilst making me feel all warm inside).
A counters ‘square’ gives all open counters a focal point just off Produce.
With a wider range of products across the range.
F&F Tesco
Improved VM and focus for lines on F&F puts M&S in the shade.
Packaged Bakery in the foyer area – just after Food to go.
Euphorium forms a part of the offer – the first time all three have been together under one roof.


The Bakery Project
The Bakery Project focusses on local lines along with a core scratch range.
Officially relaunches 12th August – customers are / will be delighted.

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