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Tesco plans significant online growth

17 April 2012 - 15:34 by Graham Miller

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Supermarket chain Tesco has been a pioneer of safe shopping online in the UK for many years, but its ambitions in the arena of e-commerce have just received a major boost.

This is due to the announcement of a new online service called Market Place, which Tesco will be creating in order to compete with established online retailers such as Amazon.

The real goal here is for Tesco to essentially create a digital version of a high street shopping centre. This means that it will, in practice, use the Market Place portal in order to sell products offered by rival retailers.

It is thought that Tesco CEO Philip Clarke will be giving more details about the Market Place plans tomorrow during an official press conference.

It is also expected that Mr Clarke will outline in-store changes to the Tesco chain, with a renewed focus on 'warmth' rather than the current industrial-feeling shopping hangars that are present throughout the UK.

Tesco has actually been in a spot of bother in recent months, with like-for-like sales falling by a single percentage point and annual profits rising by 2.8 per cent, which is low by the standards of this particular retailer.

The Market Place will offer users safe shopping online but with a focus on letting them have products delivered to their local Tesco branch.

It is thought that homeware and DIY products from other retailers will be some of the first non-Tesco goods to be supplied through this service. Other retailers and items will be added depending on the success of this initiative during the first few months of its operation.

The Telegraph quotes a source from within Tesco as saying that it will be able to offer something more than Amazon because of the all-important in-store collection option available for those placing online orders.