Tesco unveils high-end store concept

 Tesco says it plans to expand its presence in Thailand, eyeing 750 new convenience stores in the medium term. (AFP pic)

GENEVA: Half a year after unveiling a cut-price store format called Jack’s, UK grocer Tesco Plc told analysts and investors it also sees potential in adding high-end shops as well as expanding in Asia.

Britain’s largest retailer revealed a glimpse of what the new outlets could look like in the slides of a presentation Tuesday, showing a sleek grey store emblazoned with a “Tesco Finest” logo, with cafe tables and chairs outside.

Executives said they see an opportunity for the banner, according to Bruno Monteyne, an analyst at Sanford C Bernstein.

A Tesco representative declined to comment on any plans for the store concept, saying the company would provide more information Wednesday.

The grocer also said it sees an opportunity to reduce costs, allowing it to improve its offering and increase its margin.

Tesco rose as much as 4.4%, its biggest intraday gain since January.

The UK’s largest retailer said it has opened nine Jack’s stores so far and they’ve sold 24 million pounds (US$30 million) of products to date.

The format promotes private-label products, most of them supplied domestically, to compete better against German discounters Lidl and Aldi.

The grocer also said it plans to expand its presence in Thailand, eyeing 750 new convenience stores in the medium term.

It currently has 1,583 stores in the region. Four years ago, Tesco sold its business in South Korea.