Tesco has opened the doors to its new Extra store in Watford, which it believes will "break the mould" and set the standard for supermarkets of the future.
The company has undertaken a huge renovation of the 80,000 sq ft store and says that it showcases the very latest in retail innovation. New food concepts including Giraffe, Harris + Hoole, Euphorium and The Bakery Project have come together under a single roof after investment into other food businesses as part of a strategy to redevelop its larger stores.
The Watford Extra is also trailing a number of other innovations, including a new-look general merchandise area which focuses on homeware, cook and dine, a community space that customers can use for events such as yoga, baby gym and cookery classes, and revamped veg and fresh counters.
Chris Bush, managing director UK for Tesco, said: "We’ve spoken a lot about our vision to create compelling retail destinations in our larger stores; places where customers come to spend time and meet their friends and family. Watford is the first store where many of our innovations and ideas have come together and it’s great to see it all under one roof.
"Watford represents a fundamental change in the way that people are doing their shopping. More and more of our customers are shopping for leisure; they want to browse for clothes, eat a meal or grab a cup of coffee, as well as do their weekly shop. It offers us a glimpse into what stores of the future might look like and we’re really excited to be sharing that with our customers.”
Philip Clarke, chief executive of the company, said that the retailer was "breaking the mould" and the result of the refit was a "logical conclusion to the work we've been doing over the past 18 months".
He noted that consumers have been listened to and the feedback is that they want space to browse, places to eat, great food and big stores which are more welcoming, less sterile and less harsh.