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Tesco Could Open Bougie Supermarkets

The brand’s ‘Finest’ range could get its own stores, according to an investor deck

Tesco Finest could become a whole U.K. supermarket, to compete with Waitrose and Marks and Spencer Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Tesco, but make it fashion

A Tesco investor deck reveals tentative plans to open Tesco’s Finest supermarkets — an extension of the brand’s premium own-brand product range, in a bid to compete with Marks and Spencer and, presumably, Waitrose. According to This Is Money, the plan is part of chief executive David Lewis’ bid to increase profitability and, tellingly, acquire rival supermarkets. Sainsbury’s — a centre ground supermarket — had a bid to acquire Asda rejected by the Competition and Markets Authority in April, and Tesco holds similar ambitions in the sector.

In the context of Jack’s, pitched as a competitor to Aldi and Lidl with extra Britishness, Tesco investigating the other end of the supermarket pricing spectrum is a tell for a growing theme in U.K. supermarket culture. While a Tesco Finest supermarket’s reliance on own brand products would be closer to Marks and Spencer Simply Food than a Waitrose, budget and bougie are being established as the two poles, and the centre ground is being pulled apart and frequently embarrassed. Sounds familiar. [This Is Money]

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