Tesco’s UK chief operating officer Tony Hoggett has insisted its acquisition of wholesaler Booker will not serve as a distraction from its core grocery business.
The supermarket giant is in the midst of a turnaround plan under boss Dave Lewis, but has agreed a £3.7bn deal to join forces with the food supply giant as it seeks to open up fresh revenue streams.
And Hoggett believes Tesco’s move will only be beneficial for its customers.
“Ultimately, it will bring benefits for customers”
Asked at Retail Week Live whether the deal would be a distraction, Hoggett said: “Not at all. This is why it’s a merger.
“We’re bringing in a brilliant team, led by Charles [Wilson] and there is no plan that would be a distraction.
“The UK Tesco team have a very strong plan in place. The Booker team have a very strong plan in place.
“We have got to work really hard to make sure neither team is distracted.”
Hoggett added: “Ultimately, it will bring benefits for customers. For Tesco customers, it will give them access to ranges we don’t sell today.
“You can imagine the Tesco of the future selling some of the catering ranges and showcasing some of Booker’s food innovation that they are currently selling today.
“What it also helps us to do is take some money out of the supply chain. Using the synergies of the two business coming together, we can see £200m that we can reinvest back into price and into the store proposition.
“So in the short term, the narrative might be ‘why are you doing that?’ But in the mid-to-long term we see huge benefits for our customers.”