Ask any leading retail grocer in the U.S. which competitor has them quaking in their shoes and you'll hear a resounding moan about Tesco, the UK retailing innovator that is opening new formats in California and other markets on the west coast. So it's with much interest that we monitor other strategic moves by Tesco in their home market. Is the US next?
Planet Retail reports that Tesco has acquired PC Guys, a computer support company, and is testing a home IT visit concept from one of their grocery stores prior to a possible national rollout. PC Guys will offer support in Tesco stores, over the phone and in customers' homes. The service will compete directly with Best Buy's Geek Squad (Carphone Warehouse).
Services will include installing TVs ($60) and setting up home cinema systems ($140). The retailer is recruiting IT experts and testing a new zone called Tesco Digital, offering a large computer, electrical and mobile phone sales area, with PC Guys on hand to help.
In Tesco's own words: "we want to help consumers keep up with the latest electronic trends and technologies, as well as provide support and maintenance to those who need a helping hand.''
[Note from last year: When you traverse the aisles of a Tesco store in search of baked beans, you can also grab yourself a copy of Tesco Office -- an alternative to Microsoft Office -- or Tesco Antivirus, which is designed to keep your PC free of viruses. Other programs are also available, including personal finance and photo-editing software.]