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UK-based Tesco and France-based Carrefour have announced an intention to enter into a long-term, strategic alliance. The retailers have said they expect the alliance will be formally agreed in the next two months.

Alliance to cover three areas

Carrefour and Tesco said the alliance would cover:

  • Strategic relationship with global suppliers
  • Joint purchasing of own brand products
  • Joint purchasing of goods not for resale

The retailers said they see the alliance being governed by a three-year agreement.

Explaining the rationale behind the alliance, they said they expect it ‘to improve the quality and choice of products available to their customers, at even lower prices thereby enhancing their competitiveness.’

Both stressed that each would ‘continue to work with supplier partners at a local and national level.

Chief executives’ statements

Discussing the alliance, Tesco’s chief executive, Dave Lewis, said: “ I’m delighted to be entering into a strategic alliance with Carrefour. By working together and making the most of our collective product expertise and sourcing capability, we will be able to serve our customers even better, further improving choice, quality and value.

Meanwhile, Carrefour’s chief executive, Alexandre Bompard, said: “This strategic alliance between Carrefour and Tesco is a major agreement as it combines the purchasing expertise of two world leaders, complementary in their geographies, with common strategies. This agreement is a great opportunity to develop our two brands at the service of our customers. This international alliance further strengthens Carrefour allowing it to reach a key milestone in the implementation of its strategy.

Looking for more insight on Carrefour and Tesco? Subscribers can see the retailer's respective profiles here and here.

Speaking at the IGD Tesco Business Update, Jason Tarry, Chief Product Officer for Tesco has announced the business' intention to work towards a closed loop packaging system: aiming to remove, reduce and redesign packaging and its use, to improve its recovery and recycling and to educate customers to change their behaviour on recycling.

Calls on government to create consistent recycling infrastructure

Noting that the variation in levels of actual recycling can be extreme between different parts of the country, Tesco is asking the government to work to create a standardised national approach that can effectively optimise all aspects of packaging recycling. As part of its own plan Tesco is undertaking to develop easy to understand recycling communication, and to increase its own use of recycled materials to help shoppers who want to reduce their packaging impact.

Targeting hard to recycle materials

Tesco is now committed to removing hard to recycle packaging such as PVC and polystyrene from its supply chain; and it is also consulting on removing others like complex laminates. Materials it will support include sustainably sourced wood, board and paper and glassine, PET, glass, polypropylene (non-food), HDPE and LDPE, polyethylene, steel and aluminium.

Speaking at the IGD-organised event, Jason Tarry said:

'After consultation with our leading suppliers earlier this year we will remove all packaging that is hard to recycle from our business by 2019.  To complete the journey to a closed loop approach, we stand ready to work with the government to reform the current approach to recycling in the UK.'

Barcode standards agency, GS1 UK, has launched its new product data service, productDNA.

ProductDNA aims to deliver accurate and consistent data; capturing, managing and distribution information in way that is easily accessed and shared across the supply chain. The productDNA service consists of:

  • A new industry data model for suppliers to share product data with retailers
  • A cloud-based secure product catalogue
  • An independent physical product verification to ensure accuracy of product data

Easy access to data

The service covers over 150 product attributes, including ingredients, weight, dimensions, nutritional values and allergen information. Brands and suppliers own the data, and retailers have easy access to the information, ensuring that shoppers can receive accurate and up to date information about their products.

Improving efficiencies

GS1 UK is managing productDNA through its Retail Grocery Advisory Board. The board aims to provide better customer experience whilst improving efficiencies throughout the supply chain. Members include major retailers (Asda, Boots, Co-op, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose) and manufacturers (Coca Cola Enterprises, Dairy Crest, Kellogg’s, Mondelez, Müller, Nestlé, PepsiCo P&G and Unilever) in the UK.

Promoting better quality data

GS1 UK’s chief executive, Gary Lynch, commented: “The grocery sector has spent years grappling with the transfer of data. ProductDNA sets out agreed processes and data rules, based on the common need to improve product data quality and efficient sharing across the retail industry. We’re excited to have created productDNA in partnership with our members to address these issues and look forward to its adoption by the industry.”


On shelf availability (OSA) provides retailers with a shopper perspective of service and a view of overall supply chain effectiveness. This report explores shopper responses to out of stock products and what retailers, including Tesco, Sainsbury's and Co-op are doing to improve OSA.
An essential summary of supply chain priorities, latest network developments, and other key statistics for Tesco in Europe (excluding UK) and Asia.
An essential summary of supply chain priorities, latest network developments, and other key statistics for Tesco UK.
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8 May, London
Dave Lewis and his leadership team invite you to a crucial supplier event to help you stay close to Tesco’s strategic vision in their centenary year. 

A practical one day workshop for all roles in suppliers, to help develop your understanding of the vital part that supply chains play in underpinning FMCG businesses.