It is already a bank, a mobile service and a TV channel - not to forget a grocery store on nearly every high street. But now Tesco is moving into your pocket with its own 7in tablet computer, the Hudl.
The supermarket is hoping the pounds 119 gadget - or less than pounds 100 using the supermarket's Clubcard vouchers - will help it tap into the surging sales growth coming from mobile devices. The amount of money spent via mobile phones and tablets soared by 137% in the three months to July compared with the same period last year, according to new figures.
That growth has come while the high street has struggled and online sales via traditional desktop computers have flatlined, said IMRG, the
Tesco's new device is intended to capitalise on what retailers expect to be a "mobile Christmas", as shoppers snap up smartphones, tablets or the hybrid "phablets", and buy an increasing number of their presents via those gadgets.
Nearly a quarter of all online sales came from mobile devices - including tablet computers - this summer, and that proportion is expected to rise again during the festive season and coming years.
Last year more than half the 8.3m tablets sold in the
The Hudl will compete with the likes of Amazon's Kindle or
The device, which will go on sale from Monday, comes pre-loaded with access to Tesco's shopping sites and digital services such as music and video streaming and Clubcard TV, which offers films and TV shows. The company's Blinkbox e-book service is also expected to launch before Christmas.
He said that, with links to more than 4 million shoppers, Tesco was "uniquely placed" to make mobile computing accessible to a broader audience. While the number of people owning tablets was rising rapidly, only a quarter of families currently had access to one, he said.
"Tesco's challenge is to make an offer attractive enough that the Hudl is something you want to drop into your trolley. It stands a shot because this isn't just about the pounds 120 Hudl, it's about everything else that surrounds it," said Wood.
Tesco said it had consulted customers in creating the tablet, which it had designed "from scratch" to ensure it was what customers want. It will be made in a factory in
Another City analyst,
The device will also help the supermarket fight back against online rivals. It has been forced to reinvent some of its largest stores and slash expansion plans in the
Tesco has been investing in app and online developers at a specialist site in
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