Tesco is to install television screens in the aisles of its supermarkets to target customers with advertising at the point at which they make purchasing decisions.
A whole new channel, called Tesco TV, will provide consumers with the company's own promotional material, as well as advertising from third parties, such as shampoo or petfood suppliers.
The concept is on trial by a number of UK supermarket chains, but Tesco said it was the only player to press ahead with large-scale implementation. Wal-Mart has an in-store television service in the United States.
Tesco TV will be available in 300 of the company's 850 stores by the end of this year. Around 50 screens will be fitted in each of these shops in a move that will cost about £20m.
The channel will also offer shoppers "helpful hints" on things like foods recipes and babycare, as well as news and weather updates. The television sets in a particular aisle will show material of relevance to the products available in that part of the store.
Tim Mason, Tesco's marketing director, said: "We have undertaken wide-ranging research among our customers to ensure Tesco TV is both helpful and relevant to their in-store experience. We are confident we have found the right proposition."
The supermarket chain will use media group JCDecaux to sell slots on the channel to third-party advertisers. Spencer Berwin, sales director at JCDecaux, said advertisers would need to come up with short, "snappy" commercials, rather than the sort of 30 second brand-building ads that you might see on normal TV.
Mr Berwin said the service would allow companies to address consumers at the "moment of truth" - the point at which they decide, say, which brand of soap powder or pasta sauce to buy.Reuse content