The UK’s biggest retailer posted bumper full-year profits in 2019, with a 34 percent rise in operating profit to £2.21billion. Group sales rose 11.5 percent to £56.9billion and the supermarket giant recorded its 13th quarter of like-for-like sales growth in the UK. In a saturated market, this increase in sales is no mistake.
Visual retail expert Karl McKeever revealed one clever trick Tesco uses to entice customers into spending more.
Visiting the Tesco Extra store in Beckton, East London, for the BBC’s “Shopping the Supermarkets” series, Mr McKeever identified one way the supermarket drives sales at store level.
He said in 2014: “We’re going to have a really good look around this store today.
“I think the important thing to realise is that a big modern supermarket is just not a shop, it’s actually a retail theme park.
Tesco has a trick to make shoppers spend more
It’s one of the most important parts of the overall store layout
“They’re always trying to deliver what we call in the trade a ‘retail theatre’.
“So we’re going to follow the runners around the store, have a look at what they are buying and then really see what’s going on.
“It’s really important for stores to try and drive sales, and they’ll do that with lots of promotions, and they like to position those in the promotion aisle, so that’s where we’re going to start.”
Mr McKeever took the team to the centre of the shop, where offers could be seen at the end of every aisle, alongside standalone promotions.
He added: “This is known as the power aisle, it’s one of the most important parts of the overall store layout.
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“Just like on a map, it’s the major motorway throughout the centre of the store.
“Once a customer is here, they can usually find their way to everything they are looking for.
“Whether it’s big brand promotional deals, or the individual sub-departments, the power aisle is the heart of the store and the customer drives all of their decisions from this point.”
Mr McKeever explained how the power aisle drives customer’s purchasing decisions thereon.
He added: “Once in the power aisle, this is where customers can find all the really big deals.
“It’s typically where suppliers are keen to get their products in the most important part of the store.
“For every one product that a customer buys, they get another for free, in the industry, this is known as BOGOF – buy one get one free.”
Sukwinder Bassi, former general manager of Tesco Beckton, revealed how crucial the power aisle is for driving sales.
He said: “This is where we put our strongest offers, the customer looks down and says ‘if I can’t get it here, I can’t get it anywhere,’ It’s awesome.
“Different people call it different things, we call it bait and switch.
“It’s kind of like fishing, we throw the customer a bait by putting our strong offers on the end of the aisle, an example is buy one get one free on Ski yoghurt, which is next to the yoghurt aisle.
“So a customer looks at that and says ‘wow, that’s an awesome offer,’ then it entices them to look at the rest of the yoghurts.”