retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Wall Street Journal reports that Tesco plans to launch its own smartphone, called the Hudl phone, by the end of the year, hoping to earn some market share at the budget end of the spectrum. The phone will use Google's Android software.

According to the story, "Tesco didn't give any details on pricing, but the new smartphone will likely fill a similar position to the Hudl tablet, which was launched last year at £119 ($201), toward the bottom of the market. Like the tablet, the Hudl phone will include a "T-button" linking to Tesco's online products, including grocery shopping, banking and Blinkbox, the retailer's on-demand music and movie service."

The Hudl tablet is seen as being "a rare bright spot for Tesco during a period when it has struggled at home and abroad," and reportedly has sold more than 500,000 units.

Meanwhile…also in the UK, the Mirror reports that Tesco has decided to eliminate in-store bakeries in as many as 100 of its stores.

According to the story, "Fresh bread and bakery products will mostly be shipped in from a new facility in Weybridge, Surrey. The factory will also produce artisan bread for sale in new Euphorium concessions opening in the stores."

Tesco is said to be considering expanding the initiative to other stores if it is successful in the first hundred.
KC's View:
The funny thing is that I remember interviewing then-Tesco CEO Sir Ian MacLaurin back in the late eighties/early nineties, and he emphasized that to remain effective and efficient, Tesco was embracing centralization - and central bakeries rather than in-store bakeries was one of the things he pointed to as reflective of the approach.

The more things change…