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Does Jack’s stack up for Tesco?

September, 2018

Tesco’s attempt to compete with retail discounters – Aldi and Lidl – with the launch of Jack’s is a brave one. Andrew Metcalf, Director at Kent PR and marketing  agency Maxim, asks if the name and brand are a help or a hindrance? 

Why Jack’s? Well the founder of Tesco was Jack Cohen, synonymous with his no-frills approach to retail of ‘stack it high, and sell it cheap’.

However, rather than selling the retailer high, isn’t there a danger that the Jack’s brand will end up selling the whole Tesco brand cheap?

If a brand’s name has to be explained, it doesn’t work. While Tesco might have had wall-to-wall media coverage for the launch, it will still require significant marketing spend to keep it in consumers’ minds and go head-to-head with the discounters.

Many might simply see Aldi or Lidl as discounters, whose growth has been built on austerity. I’m sure price is an important factor, but it’s not their only attraction. Personally I like the offering, interesting food and drink, plus the weekly superbuys. Like many of us I have gone down the wide aisles and simply added a DIY tool or something for the house that I never even knew I wanted – so I was pleased to hear Jack’s will have a similar ‘middle aisle’. 

I’m no retail expert, but with some of the 2,600 lines on the shelves of Jack’s the same as those in Tesco but cheaper, isn’t there the danger that the new stores might take sales from nearby Tesco stores?

Social media issues 

For me, one of the biggest issues is the new name and how it will be received in today’s social media world. We all know that retailers make mistakes and upset customers and in the world of Twitter and Facebook the big danger is that the Jack’s brand is quickly linked to negative hashtags. What’s the prospect of Jack’s being described as #Jackdiddly or worse still: #Jackshit? The answer is high – it happened within minutes of the public announcement.

Only time will tell whether Jack’s is going to work, but with only 15 stores planned to open during the next 12 months it doesn’t really look like a full-on attempt to take on the discounters.

Andrew Metcalf - Director

Andrew Metcalf

Maxim / Managing Director

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