Tesco boss Philip Clarke has said the grocer is “back on form” ahead of the festive rush.
Clarke told the Daily Mail that rivals Sainsbury’s and Asda had been given too much room for manoeuvre; however, the likely closure of its troubled US Fresh & Easy operation would allow Tesco to focus on the UK.
He told the newspaper: “They’ve all had a very good run. Very good management, very good ideas, very well executed. We haven’t been on form. But guess what? I think we’re back on form.”
Clarke has been under pressure after being forced to issue Tesco’s first profit warning earlier this year, but his comments will be taken as a sign that his turnaround plan is producing results.
Meanwhile, Clarke is understood to be plotting the retailer’s expansion in India, where it will focus on the major cities of Mumbai and Bangalore.
Clarke met with members of the Tata family, with whom Tesco already has a franchise arrangement in the country, this weekend to flesh out its expansion plans in the country, according to The Sunday Telegraph.
The meeting comes days after the Indian government ended a ban that prevented foreign companies from owning the majority of a domestic retailer.
Tesco first signed a deal to move into India with Tata in 2008 and aimed to open 50 hypermarkets under Tata’s Star Bazaar brand by 2013. The change in law means that Tesco could open self-branded stores using Tata as its local partner.
It is understood that Tesco, which this week revealed it has hired Greenhill to lead a strategic review of its US business Fresh & Easy, has already received approaches for the business from two potential trade bidders, including Whole Foods Markets, according to The Sunday Telegraph. Family Dollar, Dollar General and Target are also understood to be interested in stores.