Tesco is testing in-store co-working space
Tesco, the UK’s largest grocery chain, really expands on the idea of the supermarket.
According to a report by The Guardian, the grocer is piloting an initiative to bring 3,800 square meters of flexible workspace to a store in south London’s New Malden, in partnership with office space operator IWG. Additionally, the space will be located on the store’s upper mezzanine level and will include 30 co-working spaces, 12 OpenDesks (a more private option) and a meeting room, according to The Independent.
“We’re excited to be working with IWG to offer customers the ability to work more flexibly from their local Tesco,” Louise Gutland, head of strategic partnerships at Tesco, in a statement. “We’re always striving to better serve our customers and communities, and we’re excited to see how they respond to this new opportunity.”
This workspace is reportedly taking up space formerly occupied by items that consumers no longer buy from brick-and-mortar stores — such as music and videos, and electronics. It’s not yet known if such spaces are planned in the future, although The Guardian reported that it “is thought likely” that the companies will expand their partnership if this location proves popular.
“People don’t want to commute hours every day and instead want to live and work in their local communities,” IWG Founder and CEO Markus Dixon said in a statement. “A Tesco Extra in a suburban location in the heart of a vibrant community is the perfect location for flexible office space.”
The news comes as grocers on every continent are using their position to expand into additional non-food categories. These companies are in a unique position among retailers as they regularly get customers through the door, often several times a week, as groceries are a daily necessity.
By trying out new offerings that target other parts of shoppers’ daily routines, these supermarkets are able to build deeper relationships with their customers. PYMNTS research found that businesses that engage with consumers across more pillars of the connected economy — how they work, pay and get paid, shop, eat, bank, travel and have fun, connect with others, stay healthy and live – are at an advantage in today’s competitive market.
Continue reading: How consumers live in the connected economy
Take the Hy-Vee supermarket chain, for example, which operates more than 280 stores in the Midwest. The grocer announced in September that it was working with exercise equipment brand Johnson Fitness & Wellness to offer fitness showrooms in select stores where shoppers can try out treadmills, elliptical trainers, stationary bikes and other equipment.
See more: Hy-Vee opens fitness showrooms
That same month, Texas supermarket chain HEB, which operates hundreds of stores in Texas and Mexico, announced its partnership with retailer James Avery Artisan Jewelry to bring jewelry stores into its stores.
Continue reading: HEB joins store-in-a-store trend with new partnership with jewelry stores
With initiatives like these, grocers are expanding their relationship with their customers beyond their shopping routines and becoming a more integral part of customers’ lives.