Tesco is to integrate its online and store non-food buying teams as it prepares for its much-anticipated catalogue launch this autumn.
The UK’s leading retailer will create a harmonised buying team for products sold through the catalogue, online and in stores to enable it to drive efficiencies through scale.
It is understood that Tesco Direct will be the name for the catalogue and online venture, which will take on the might of Argos in a high-profile general merchandise battle due to kick off in September.
The launch is spearheaded by former Argos finance director Steve Robinson, who joined Tesco a year ago. Robinson holds the position of Tesco.com chief executive, non-food.
Robinson’s role has enabled Tesco.com chief executive Laura Wade-Gery to focus on the online arm’s grocery and fresh-goods operation.
It is understood that Tesco finance and strategy director Andrew Higginson is the executive board director who will have the responsibility for the Tesco Direct arm.
The retailer is remaining tight-lipped about the details of the project. However, a spokeswoman said that driving non-food sales through the internet is a priority for Tesco.
She said: ‘Non-food sales account for less than 10 per cent of our total dotcom sales. So clearly, there is lots of potential to improve our online offer, given the success of non-food in stores, and we are looking at ways to achieve this.’
Tesco’s catalogue offer is expected to include furniture, electricals, toys and sports equipment. Tesco.com is hosting a massive electricals clearance sale, indicating that it is gearing up for the Direct launch with new product.