Tesco has begun switching some One Stop stores to its Tesco Express convenience format to “better serve” the communities they are based in.
betterRetailing understands the site conversions began in November, and a source claimed up to 50 sites could be switched. Both companies refused to confirm whether any of One Stop’s 200 franchisees were affected.
A spokesperson from Tesco told betterRetailing: “We believe the Express brand will better serve these communities, offering a broader range of branded and Tesco own-branded products, as well as more fresh food and food to go. We expect the stores to open under the Tesco Express brand early this year.”
A One Stop retailer claimed the conversions affected larger branches of more than 2,000sq ft, which had “become as profitable as they could”, suggesting the changes would remove many of the brand’s top-performing centrally-owned sites.
Bryan Roberts, global insights director at TCC Global, said: “The One Stop brand is valuable to Tesco, and the existing support shouldn’t change. However, nine out of 10 people on the street won’t have heard of the company. There’s a risk the brand could be pushed out of certain communities altogether.”
Another anonymous One Stop franchisee added: “The sites were never going to be given the opportunity for more investment under the One Stop brand. At the affected sites, Tesco would rather convert to Express because they see it as more valuable.”