It was a launch more akin to Apple than Tesco as the grocer unveiled its tablet today.

It was a launch more akin to Apple than Tesco as the grocer unveiled its tablet today.

Journalists were sent a mysterious invitation last week to turn up this morning at the Rainmaking Loft - a uber trendy hot desking office based on St Katharine’s Dock housing technology developers. The technology hub - sponsored by Tesco - nurtures technology talent, with the aim of developing the next Google or Facebook.

While it was widely known that Tesco would today launch its tablet, Hudl, the launch itself told a lot about where the company is headed.

The venue provided the right ambiance and Tesco chief Philip Clarke passionately spoke about the launch of Hudl, showing off his own device - already equipped with an Anfield screen saver - and talked about how the world is changing, and technology is at the heart of everything. Words that could easily have come out of the mouth of the late Steve Jobs.

His impassioned speech, which he read off his Hudl device, of course put customers at the heart of strategy,but underpinned his ambition to become a global digital leader.

It’s a phrase he has used before but he is definitely putting his money where his mouth is. Investing in initiatives such as the Rainmaking Loft and opening a 30,000 sq ft ‘technology centre’ in Farringdon shows his commitment to digital and its future.

Most retailers are talking a lot about the digital future but many not doing enough to grasp the opportunities. Clarke has a lot on his place turning around the UK and grappling with difficulties overseas but he is taking no prisoners when it comes to digital as he knows that’s where the future of shopping lies.

Not all digital initiatives will take off, but if retailers don’t try, they may get left behind. And Clarke doesn’t want to be one of those.