Tesco starts operating in Poland
Tesco started operating in Poland with the acquisition of “Minor”, “Madex” and “Savia” from Bielsko Biała and Wałbrzych regions. This move gave Tesco an opportunity to learn more about the Polish market.
We opened our first head office in Bielsko Biała in 1995 and this moved to Krakow in 1997.
The first hypermarket
November 18 saw the opening of the first Tesco store in Poland, a hypermarket located in Wroclaw Bielany Shopping Center. The opening day was a great event for the local community - with over 40,000 citizens visiting.
We launched our Value line of products with their distinctive white and blue packaging, which allowed us to offer customers good quality products at the lowest prices thanks to reduced advertising costs and consistent packaging for the entire range.
Kevin Doherty – a new Tesco Polska CEO
In August, Kevin Doherty became the company’s CEO, replacing Peter Riedler, after his 3 years service for Polish business. Kevin brought 38 years of experience at Tesco from the UK. He started his career in store, moving to senior management positions and directorships in a number of areas of the business.
In response to customers’ expectations, the first Tesco store’s opening hours were extended to midnight then moved to 24 hours, 7 days a week. The idea proved to be very successful and was rolled out to more hypermarkets.
We launched the Tesco Brand. The focus was on quality with prices up to 20% less than the branded counterparts.
On July 4th we announced plans to take over HIT hypermarkets, one of the oldest retail chains operating in Poland. The company ran 13 hypermarkets in major Polish cities.
Launch of Tesco for Schools
For the first time, our customers were able to collect points that could be donated to selected schools. We equipped schools in 15 cities with modern computer labs.
Newsweek rates Tesco as leading employer
On behalf of Newsweek weekly, PBS research center conducted a survey of more than 1,000 personnel managers representing various industries to select the best employers in Poland – Tesco was one of the leaders. The assessment took into account the satisfaction with pay, promotion opportunity, stability of employment, the atmosphere in the workplace and the opportunity to use skills.
The Polish Tesco website was launched. The service became one of the most important sources of information on the company and its offer to our customers.
Teresin Distribution Center
We invested nearly 150 million zlotys in our first central warehouse. For the region, this meant 350 new jobs with 150 more temporary roles. The distribution center has nearly 40,000 sq m of warehouse space and 12 meters high is a modern central warehouse supplying Tesco outlets in food and non-food products.
Kevin Grace as a CEO
On August 30, Kevin Grace became Tesco Polska CEO, replacing Kevin Doherty after 5 years of service in Poland. Kevin Grace started his career at Tesco in the UK in 1984. After the apprenticeship, and the managerial training program for graduates he worked in various roles in the Operations Department.
At the end of October we opened our first compact hypermarket with 2000 sq m sales floor in Krapkowice.
Tesco petrol stations
Four stations opened in December and our customers could pay for their fuel without getting out of the car.
Cooperation with Solidarity
On February 10 Kevin Grace, Tesco Polska CEO, signed an agreement with the Solidarity trade union. This document was a follow-up to 2002 “Code of cooperation” and was the first agreement between a retailer and trade union in Poland.
Julius Meinl acquisition
On August 18th Tesco signed an agreement with Austrian Julius Meinl company. We purchased 9 stores located in the south of Poland. The number of Tesco stores increased to 74.
Cherokee at Tesco
Tesco added to its non-food offer products with the American clothing brand Cherokee, available exclusively at 50 stores. Poland was the fourth European country after England, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, where the Cherokee brand was made available.
The acquisition of Leader Price stores was an important step for the development of small format stores. In addition to a significant number of stores, we earned experience of Leader Price employees working in small stores. The merger strengthened our offer and contributed to faster development of stores of this format. The number of stores under the brand grew to 116.
Ryszard Tomaszewski becomes Tesco Polska CEO
The big event of the year was the appointment of Ryszard Tomaszewski to the position of Tesco Polska CEO. He was the first Pole in this position.
We launched the new range of clothing. The F&F brand further strengthened our textiles offer.
Energy efficient store
Poland's first energy-saving store was established in Zdzieszowice. 18 solar panels were installed on the roof of the building converts solar power into electricity. The ground heat exchanger uses the temperature of the earth to warm or cool down the air flowing into the building. Refrigeration engines’ heat is recovered and used to heat the water. Four wind turbines, arranged along the front wall of the store convert wind power into electricity. Energy from the sun, wind and earth can reduce the amount of consumed electricity and gas by as much as one-third per year.
"Mom at work" award
Tesco was in the top three companies in the national campaign "Mom at work" carried out by "Rzeczpospolita", Foundation of Santa Claus and research company Millward / Brown SMG / KRC. The competition honoured companies supporting mothers - both in terms of returning to work after maternity and to creating favorable conditions in the workplace.
Tesco opened its 300th stores in Poland. The new compact hypermarket in Brzeg Dolny was opened on 23 February.
"Bag for life"
Tesco is the first retailer in Poland that replaced disposable plastic bags to environmentally friendly bags.
A jute "Bag for Life" became the favorite shopping bag. Customers buy it only once, and when it wears out it can be exchange for free for a new one.
We cut more prices of branded products. For the first time we decided we will compare out prices to the competitors in store. Customers were able to compare the prices at the shelves.
Tesco for kids
Our cooperation with foster family homes and Happy Kids foundation started with collecting toys for children from the orphanages and ended up as a charity campaign to open new foster family homes. In the coming year we would open a new children’s home in Łódź.
On 6th of August we launched the Clubcard scheme. Since the very morning customers were joining the programme and gaining their first Clubcard points when shopping at Tesco.
Tesco is extra!
First Tesco Extra format store was opened in Częstochowa. It is a new concept on Polish retail market. Only at Tesco extra under one roof can customers buy their shopping, print photos, buy a cell phone or the glasses at the optician.
The number of Tesco stores went up to 400. Our 400th store, Tesco Extra hypermarket, was opened in Suwałki in northern Poland.
We launched our grocery home shoppinh service. No more traffic jams on your way to the hypermarket!
Price campaign ‘Cut’
A huge campaign started on May 9,we lowered prices of couple of thousands of products. In case of hypermarkets it was up to 5 000 products. Each product with lowered price was properly marked, so the customers could compare old price with the new, lower ones.
Click & Collect
On May 10 we launched a new service ‘Click and Collect’. The service enables collecting the shopping previously ordered online on www.tesco.pl/ezakupy at Tesco store. The products can be picked up personally either at customer service point or at the car park - depending on the store.
European Innovation Centre
In December in Cracow we opened European Innovation Centre – place where new, better quality own brand products, adjusted to the needs of four Central European markets (Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Hungary) are created. In the Innovation Centre we work on new products - starting from their specifics, through package design to preparing visual identification.
Millionth shopping delivery
Popularity of dotcom service is growing. We have just delivered shopping to our millionth customer. The lucky customer comes from Ruda Śląska.
Structures of our Central European markets have been reorganized in March. We have created one business unit working on four markets in Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia, with one managing team. This transformation allowed us to create stronger, more balanced European business.