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Tesco takes on discount rivals with new Jack's chain

03 October 2018
Tesco takes on discount rivals with new Jack's chain

The new chain is created to "bring customers great-tasting food at the lowest possible prices" and promises to "proudly support Britain's food producing communities".

The first two Jack's stores will open to shoppers tomorrow, with another 10-15 following in the next six months as Tesco copies the tactics of the German discounters, whose limited-range stores have won over increasing numbers of British shoppers since the economic crisis hit in 2008.

Launch of Jack's supermarket in Chatteris.Dave Lewis. Jack Cohen founded Tesco 99 years ago in 1919.

Branding is seen outside Tesco's new discount supermarket Jack's, in Chatteris, Britain, September 19, 2018.

"The intention is for us to be cheapest in town", Lewis said.

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, said: "With its heavy Union Jack branding and promises on provenance Jack's is clearly looking to make its name as a solid British retailer". Jack's will also be based around a UK-based own-brand approach.

The Jack's BWS aisle features a selection of branded and own label lines, including a range of RTD canned gin, rum and vodka drinks. Since muscling in on the United Kingdom grocery market five years ago, the incumbents have been powerless to halt the march of Aldi and Lidl as they have gobbled up market share at a dizzying rate.

At least five Jack's stores will be converted Tesco locations and the rest will be newly acquired.

Britain's "big four" grocers are trying to adapt to changing habits, including the declining popularity of big weekly shops and the growth of online shopping. They stock much less variety, which keeps operations leaner, and they specialise in "pile 'em high" seasonal offers, with stock that is for sale until it's gone.

Jack's will need to work hard to dent the success of Aldi and Lidl, and will also need to prove its value against the wider Tesco offering including its existing chain of One Stop convenience stores.

The launch comes on the same day as the announcement of an investigation into the merger of two of the other largest supermarkets in the UK, Sainsbury's and Asda.

In a statement the company simply said it would be "sharing some exciting news" after earlier advertisements for staff for a "new store format" in Chatteris.