Dear Mr. Dave Lewis,
Congratulations on your new job as boss of Tesco. You don’t take over your new role until October, so, over the coming months we’d like you to think about a few things that should make your job easier and more rewarding. Here’s a heads up…
Current chief executive Philip Clarke is leaving in the wake of what businesses like to call “challenging trading conditions”.
From where we sit it looks like shoppers have simply turned their backs (in increasing numbers) on food retailers who who use words like ‘offer’ and ‘bargain’ as marketing weapons and have assumed that all it takes to sell something to us is a big enough poster campaign and a nice advert on the telly.
Wake up and smell the coffee
(preferably not the stuff on prompotion at the end of the aisle, but the cheaper stuff on the bottom shelf away from our eyeline)
What shoppers want is genuine offers, clearly spelled out and which represent a genuine discount on the full usual price of an item (not the artficially inflated price it was offered at for a few weeks previously, to make the promotional claims stack up).
We want to find scales conveniently located next to the loose fruit and veg so we can weigh and compare loose stuff with packed stuff. We want all shelf labels to use the same logic to describe what something costs – not just some items at so much for 100gms and some items at so much a kilo, or so much each. We need food – not a maths lesson.
We want staff on checkouts whose training emphasises the importance of not only serving us in an efficient and friendly manner, but also ensuring that every multibuy, offer and voucher is actually deducted at the till. We don’t want to be made to feel like irritants or charlatans if we query our receipt in detail.
We’d also like it if all supermarkets bills from all food retailers adhered to the same logic and layout, with discounts and offer deductions in bigger print to aid those of us (including the rushed and the elderly) as we check these things for ourselves (more easily).
To be honest, we don’t envy you. You’ve got a big job on your hands and a lot of ground to catch up on. In the meantime shoppers are seeking out the lower cost supermarkets and deserting the likes of Tesco in their thousands.
We are absolutely convinced that if you try this new brand of honesty and fairhandedness you will not only restore you reputation 9slowly) and win customers back, but produce the sort of stable profits that shareholders like.