Something From Nothing – Bringing the Store to the Customer

Grocery giant Tesco has launched a mind-boggling new experiment in South Korea.  Ranked at Number 2 in the country’s market, Tesco had fewer stores than its number one competitor, EMart.  Yet it wanted to move into number 1 without adding any stores.  The solution they came up with was nothing short of brilliant, but it wasn’t just a lucky guess; it came from thorough and thoughtful study of the customer.

Tesco noticed that South Koreans work amongst the longest hours of any developed nation, and then when added on top of a long commute, shopping was an exhausting chore to most of their customers.  Their remarkable solution was not to try and make evolutionary refinements to smooth out and speed up the trip through the store.  It was to throw the entire trip out the window and bring the store to the customer.   Tesco rented billboards in the subway stations and posted giant, bright, life-sized, photo murals of the store shelves along the wall.  Customers merely walk by while they wait for their train and scan product QR codes with their phone.  Their groceries are waiting for them in a box when they arrive home.  Sales surge, time saved, customers delighted, market share increased, carbon footprint lowered, loyalty increased.  Nice neat solution.  Wow.

Video of the project:


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