Shop and work, UK’s Tesco gives up supermarket space for office area
By James Davey
LONDON (Reuters) – Tesco, Britain’s biggest retailer, has tied-up with office rental firm IWG so that people can use their local supermarket as an office.
The deal with Tesco is part of IWG’s plan to add 1,000 new locations to its global network this year as post-COVID-19 demand for hybrid working accelerates.
It will see excess space at Tesco sites converted into office areas, allowing people to work either side of doing their shopping.
The firms said on Thursday a trial will start in mid-May at the supermarket group’s Tesco Extra store in New Malden, south London.
Located on the store’s upper mezzanine level, some 3,800 square foot of space will contain 12 desks with privacy options, 30 co-working spaces and a meeting room. Businesses and individuals will have access to Wi-Fi and an in-store cafe.
IWG, which trades as Spaces and Regus, said prices will range from 93 pounds ($115) for a five day a month membership to from 216 pounds for a full month.
Customer feedback will be assessed ahead of a possible broader roll-out across the UK.
“We are always looking to serve our customers and communities better and we will be interested to see how they respond to this new opportunity,” Louise Goodland, Tesco’s head of strategic partnerships said.
IWG’s founder and CEO Mark Dixon said creating new locations in suburban areas was “a response to the growing demand we are seeing from customers who want to live and work locally.”
Tesco has other partnership deals with firms including fast food group Greggs, sportswear retailer Decathlon, Pets at Home, health food retailer Holland & Barrett and opticians Vision Express.
The group is also building Urban Fulfilment Centres (UFCs) to fulfil online orders using automated technology in stores that have sufficient excess space.
Tesco’s partnership with rapid delivery firm Gorillas also uses excess warehouse space to fulfil orders.
($1 = 0.8095 pounds)
(Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel)