Today is 61 (sixty-one) days until Dave Lewis takes the helm at the UK’s biggest retailer. Grocery Insight are counting down to the start of his reign with an improvement point per day. First up, we had Twitter, then unerring focus on shrink, then we had Blinkbox and Hudl. Brand Outlet was the focus of yesterday with today being PoS (point of sale).
Campaigns aside (for another day) the PoS in Tesco represents one of schizophrenia, when I was in store (moons ago with JS) we used to clear the store of old PoS before a new ‘look’ was rolled out. All too often today, each retailer has artefacts from moons ago on the shelf or within fixture. Get rid!
The focus has to be on a ‘clean break’ with a new PoS package representing a new direction for the brand and wider business. I got very excited when I saw Bishops Stortford for the upmarket PoS ‘look and feel’ / ‘One Voice’. An outstanding store in a lovely area and a cohesive PoS package that really worked, flowing from one category to the next. It really felt unlike Tesco which had to be the aim, given the lack of ‘love’ for the brand.
One positive of Phil Clarke’s reign was that he did tackle these issues, but tried to fight on too many fronts which meant initiatives being half finished. PoS is one of those, each store should have the same look / feel but they don’t. There are some with 50% of it, others with part of Fresh but not the rest, sure not all stores are suitable for everything but the new package should have been rolled out faster and more complete than it was.
The heady heights of the trial in Bishops Stortford were never quite replicated in stores nationwide, sure, bits were and the customers benefited from new signage across Meat / Fish and Dairy along with a reshaping of the promotional PoS. Elements of the old PoS package remained in stores, either out of line or poorly designed, with some of the new seasonal package questionable.
Whilst the brand needs work (another blog) PoS is a great way to bridge a gap and ensure customers are seeing the best of Tesco in terms of the store PoS. What is the look / feel about? What are customers spoken to about in store? It’s all so confused.
The issue post Terry was that the brand was far too corporate, far too clinical and had lost meaning with customers. The strapline ‘Every Little Helps’ was born out of an era where taking shopping to a customer’s car or opening additional checkouts wasn’t the norm. Again, treading on future blogs but the corporate feel of the stores hadn’t particularly changed in 20 years, Clarke did try to change this.
Another real questionable tactic, particularly as its really short term is the addition of branded PoS across categories. This typically appears near the quarter end and carries a relevant suppliers branding all over PoS, this serves to do nothing other than add to the bottom line and clutter the fixture. Not helping the customer is it?
When you see this, it’s a warning that a retailer is struggling to make the numbers, less the competitions but more the ‘random’ PoS.
A real short term outlook, ‘clean and clutter free’ store environments extends further than just stacks and dumpbins, it’s about what in the aisles too. Branded supplier PoS has a place for new product launches but dropped in for ‘easy money’ isn’t acceptable.
Overall, refits are good, proposition extras do feature the new PoS package but not in its entirety. What about the rest of the store estate? This is arguably part of the Tesco problem, a focus on London, the South, stores around Head Office is great but what about the rest of the country?
PoS and look/feel is something Phil Clarke did work on, but poor execution has plagued Tesco and 100% of the package was in Bishops Stortford, however only 50% ever rolled into the stores. PoS will form a huge part of making the brand loved again and Dave Lewis will hope for a better executed plan.
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