Tesco UK launches Jack’s and celebrates centenary

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Tesco UK has launched Jack’s – a new brand and stores inspired by and named after Tesco founder, Jack Cohen.

According to Tesco, Jack’s will bring customers great-tasting food at the lowest possible prices. The retail giant says eight out of 10 food and drink products will be grown, reared or made in Britain.

The launch kicks off Tesco’s centenary, ‘Celebrating 100 Years of Great Value’.

In addition to the Jack’s brand, Jack’s will stock some familiar grocery brands and a range of general merchandise on a ‘when it’s gone, it’s gone’ basis.

‘No fuss approach’

Jack’s will operate a low-cost business model that is designed to keep costs low and prices down. Tesco says it’s a “no fuss approach with a simplified range of products”. There will be no fancy fixtures or fittings, and no added extras – just good quality at low prices.

“Jack Cohen championed value for customers and changed the face of British shopping,” Tesco Group Chief Executive Dave Lewis said.

“He’s an inspiration for all of us and that same spirit still drives Tesco now.”

Over the next six months Tesco will launch 10-15 Jack’s stores in the UK. The first two stores have opened – Chatteris, Cambridgeshire and Immingham, Lincolnshire – on sites that make use of excess Tesco space. The stores to follow will include a mix of entirely new sites, sites adjacent to existing Tesco stores, and a small number of converted Tesco stores.

Taking on the Germans

Industry commentators see Jack’s as Tesco’s attempt to take on German giants ALDI and Lidl, which have eaten into its market share in the past decade. By 2014, a £250 million ($444 million) chasm had opened up in Tesco’s profits.

But they’ve since rebounded to more than £1 billion ($1.78 billion). Tesco has also forged a “strategic alliance” with French supermarket Carrefour.