The landscape of British supermarkets has changed dramatically since the arrival of German chains Lidl and Aldi. Many families have converted to the cheaper stores, and when we’re not our cupboards and fridges with affordable basics like milk, bread and veg, we’re picking up cut-price scented candles and searching out the latest homeware Specialbuys (hello, Le Creuset-esque cast iron pans).
But now there’s a new budget supermarket on the scene that’s set to provide the big hitters with some serious competition: Jack’s, a new shop created by Tesco to offer customers bargain goods at the ‘lowest’ price.
The first Jack’s store – named after Tesco’s founder, Sir Jack Cohen, who created the chain 99 years ago – was unveiled today in Chatteris, Cambridgeshire, with another set to open in Immingham, Lincolnshire later this week. Between 10 and 15 Jack’s will open initially, located next to existing Tesco stores and in some cases, taking over former Tesco sites.
Chief executive Dave Lewis said to the BBC of the launch: ‘We have been thinking about what customers want, and bringing it to them in the most cost-effective, value-orientated way possible. The objective is to be the lowest cost for customers.’
Jack’s stores will sell 2,600 products – notably fewer than the 35,000 carried in a Tesco supermarket – with 1,800 products carrying the ‘Jack’s’ branding. As it’s a separate offering, you won’t be able to collect Clubcard points at Jack’s locations, and as of yet there are no plans to offer online shopping (we can but dream).
As well as the usual grocery offering, The Guardian reports that the shops will also have a ‘an aisle of general merchandise on a “when it’s gone, it’s gone” basis’ – which sounds like a dead ringer for the sections in Lidl and Aldi that we already know and love.
So, will you be visiting a store near you?