Planning tool helps Tesco's world bid

Tesco, the UK's biggest retailer, is implementing merchandise planning software across its global operations.

Tesco, the UK's biggest retailer, is implementing merchandise planning software across its global operations.

This, it said, will provide a platform for further international expansion and help boost its market share in the non-food area.

Tesco, which has 728 stores in the UK and 257 outlets in the Republic of Ireland, central Europe and South East Asia, last week revealed its strategy for long-term growth. This included focusing on new foreign markets it thinks it can take a leading position; and boosting its market share in non-food goods to 6%.

The merchandising and advanced retail planning and optimisation software, from supplier Retek, will help the retailer achieve these aims, said Philip Clarke, IT and logistics director at Tesco.

"We needed a solution that will support growth in scale and diversity across the group," he said. "The Retek system will provide a platform for managing non-food - by size, style and colour - in the UK and enable better management of the supply chain in Korea [where Tesco is expanding rapidly]."

Clarke, who received a salary of more than £1m last year, said the Retek software, which replaces old, inflexible bespoke technology that focused only on groceries, would also cut the overall cost of IT and improve efficiency.

"The packaged application means we can shift the focus away from developing systems to developing processes; freeing up the IT department to concentrate on providing customer-facing value," he said. "It also gives us the opportunity to leverage economies of scale across the group, reducing costs and improving accessibility to new technologies."

Tesco has already used Retek software in other parts of the business, most notably to support its global non-food sourcing operation and a warehouse management system for its largest distribution centre.

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