Analysis: Compete or collaborate? Why Tesco, M&S and Harrods are joining forces with rivals

Tugofwar

With the threat of Amazon looming over most in the sector, some retailers are doing away with long-standing rivalries in order to take on the online Goliath. But how should retailers decide when to compete and when to collaborate?

Last year, one-time bitter media rivals BBC and ITV unveiled plans to collaborate on a streaming service, which would enable users to watch programmes from across both channels in one place.

The one-time unthinkable tie-up, called Britbox, was motivated by the need for both traditional platforms to launch a defence against the stratospheric rise of streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. The tie-up is a living example of the old adage ‘My enemy’s enemy is my friend’.

Teaming up with the competition to fight a greater battle is becoming increasingly common in the retail world, too. From traditional grocer M&S tying up with Ocado, to Sainsbury’s attempted merger with Asda, there are plenty of examples of former rivals joining – or at least attempting to join – forces to win customer spend.

Subscription content

Please sign in now if you have a subscription or are already registered with us.

Retail Week

Register for free to continue reading

Retail-Week.com provides premium, in-depth intelligence that helps retailers judge risks, spot opportunities and identify what they need to do to win in the digital economy.

Register today for a taste of our high-quality intelligence and enjoy:

  • Two free article views per calendar month on Retail-Week.com
  • Detailed analysis of current trends and events 
  • Exclusive newsletters
  • In-depth reports, videos, interviews and much more

Discover Retail Week register now

Please note, if you have recently purchased a subscription, it may take a few minutes before your account is updated.