Tesco chief marketing officer Matt Atkinson has said technology is the “key enabler” to create the retailer of the future.

Speaking at the BRC Retail Symposium in London, Atkinson said the aim “has to be to create a seamless blend between the stores and the digital business”.

Tesco will invest £500m of its capital spend in technology this year.

He said technology allows retailers to innovate new services and then evolve those services as retailers understand more about their customers.

He cited online grocery as an example. It started with home delivery but evolved to include click-and-collect and drive through as some shoppers didn’t want to wait in for a delivery.

He said that Tesco’s big stores are also evolving – giving the example of Stockton-on-Tees where its 120,000 sq ft store is reducing to a trading area of 80,000 sq ft. The mezzanine is being repurposed to include a gym and Tesco is planning a soft play area on the ground floor.

Other innovations include the purchase of Giraffe and investment in Harris + Hoole.