Yoga classes and hair salons? Every little helps for Tesco

 

Tesco is hoping to offset the mundane nature of the weekly food shop by turning its out-of-town supermarkets into ‘exciting retail destinations’ offering everything from yoga classes to cookery courses.

The company’s new superstore in Watford will be the first to trail the new approach when it opens next month. It will feature a 600 sq ft free ‘community space’ for local groups as well as a nail salon, and will also be the first to have a Giraffe restaurant, Harris & Hoole coffee shop and Euphorium bakery – all brands in which Tesco has a stake – under one roof.

Last year the company issued its first profit warning in two decades and was hit harder than its rivals by the horsemeat scandal. It was also forced to sell its Fresh and Easy chain of convenience stores in Arizona, California and Nevada, losing more than $1bn.

Tesco’s UK managing director Chris Bush has admitted that the bid to create “exciting” retail destinations is an attempt to lure shoppers off the internet and back into the shops. “In the past, large hypermarkets were popular because they offered a massive range of products and people liked being able to buy everything under one roof – it made life easier. The internet has changed all that – people don’t even need to leave their homes to go shopping and more people are using convenience stores for regular top-up shops.”

He added: “Our customers pay to put fuel into their car and drive away from their homes to visit us, so we need to give them good reasons to come to our larger stores.”

In an interview in this week’s The Grocer, Mr Bush explained how part of his “vision” for turning stores into “exciting” destinations is “because customers can have a meal or coffee with their friends and family, browse for clothes and get their hair done.  They can go to yoga classes or attend cookery classes in a space available for the local community to use.”

In the coming months, another of Tesco’s biggest stores, in Stockton on Tees, will include a gym where people will be able to take pilates and zumba classes. And parents are to be tempted through its doors courtesy of a soft play area on the ground floor of the 120,000 square foot store.

Tesco’s efforts to get people into its shops are part of a wider shift among retailers, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC). Tom Ironside, BRC’s director of business & regulation, said: “Many of our members are exploring how they can become closer to the communities they serve by using their space creatively.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Dining Room Head Chef

£32K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Dining Room Head Chef to work for one of ...

Guru Careers: Pastry Sous Chef / Experienced Pastry Chef

£27K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pastry Sous Chef / Experienced Pastry Che...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Are you a recent graduate loo...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Did you know? SThree is a mul...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine