Tesco launches the ‘Tesco Red Door’; invites innovators to share ideas

Tesco has launched the ‘Tesco Red Door’, a new approach to disruptive innovation.

At a virtual event for international innovators and technology start-ups, Tesco announced it was inviting innovators with new products, ideas or emerging technologies with the potential to cause disruption in the future to contact its newly established Group Innovation team. This team will be a single point of contact, responsible for quickly evaluating ideas, supporting partners to access Tesco, and helping them to develop and implement their ideas.

Specifically, the team is looking for innovators to work with Tesco in areas beyond day-to-day operations, with a focus on ideas that can create true competitive advantage for Tesco and improve the way it serves shoppers.

This approach is the natural next step in Tesco’s innovation journey, and builds on its focus on innovation through its five-year turnaround, which included the launch of innovative brands, products and services, and the introduction of new technology and systems to make the business simpler for colleagues and better for customers.

The Group Innovation team brings together experts from across each of Tesco’s core business functions, and reports directly to the Group CEO. The team has already established networks in three key innovation hotspots – London, San Francisco and Israel – giving direct access to emerging technology, and establishing Tesco as an ideal partner for innovators looking to develop and implement their ideas.

Tesco’s unparalleled reach and scale through its store and distribution networks, in-depth customer insight and extensive retail experience offer start-ups and other innovators unique access to the retail industry.

Tesco is initially focusing on four priority areas that will deliver the biggest impact: food & drink products and technology; data; robotics and automation; and packaging.

Dave Lewis, Chief Executive, said:

“A strong pipeline of innovation is essential in ensuring we can anticipate and respond to our customers’ needs, and we believe there is an opportunity now to welcome even more innovation into our business, and to do it faster. Our new Group Innovation team will help us to access the most exciting innovators from across the globe. In turn, we can offer those partners a unique opportunity to build and develop their ideas rapidly and at scale, using the benefits of our experience and access to market.”

Claire Lorains, Group Innovation Director, said:

“In the short time we’ve been together, our multi-disciplinary team has already built networks in key innovation locations, and seen over 200 innovations. We’re moving quickly, and I’m delighted to see some of the ideas already coming to market. There’s lots more to come, as we work with partners to develop new and disruptive innovations, and we welcome approaches from anyone with an idea to share.”

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