Tesco is to start giving store managers more power as the retailer increases localisation of its ranges, chief information officer Mike McNamara said at the NRF conference in New York on Tuesday.

He said control of stores will start to trickle back to store managers as the retailer’s offer becomes more personalised and localised. Currently, product ranging and promotions differ between areas, but are controlled centrally and McNamara says some control will be given back to managers.

He said: “Store management will change out of all proportion. In the future we will push information back into the shops and allow store managers to do the job they think best for their customers. We deskilled store managers by centralising everything. Collaboration technologies will help store managers to understand the wants and needs of their customers.”

Tesco is rolling out an internal social network with Microsoft which will enable more two-way communication between stores and head offices, and McNamara says this will eventually support a shift of control from central head offices to local stores.

“It will be a slow process,” he said. “We want to give stores a lot more decision making power and more flexibility but we don’t want to lose the operational efficiencies we have built up. It will be a gradual journey over a number of years.”