Tag: Tesco

TalkTalk buys Tesco’s Blinkbox

tesco-blinkboxTalkTalk confirmed  that it has written a cheque for Tesco’s Blinkbox Movies business and in a three for two deal bought the supermarket giants budget fixed line broadband and phone customers.

Tesco has been suffering from a pile of financial hurt and has been looking to offload some of its  less lucrative assets. Web-based Blinkbox video streaming service was given a kicking from better offerings from Netflix, Amazon and NOW TV.

Tesco originally took ownership of Blinkbox for £3m in 2011. Since then the supermarket giant has added Blinkbox Books through the £4.5m acquisition of digital book service Modcast and they later paid £10.8m to buy music streaming service WE7, which was turned into Blinkbox Music.

But the service has not made enough cash and last we heard made a post-tax loss of £24.7m on total revenues of just £3.5m.

Vodafone and TalkTalk were known to have an expressed an in the service.

TalkTalk said that the integration of blinkbox with its YouView based TV business would “begin immediately” through a restructuring of the combined platform.

Adrian Letts, Blinkbox CEO and Co-Founder, will join TalkTalk as Managing Director for TV and report to Tristia Harrison, Managing Director of the ISPs consumer business.

Buying Tesco’s broadband base is another example of TalkTalk trying to make  its national network to grow faster.

Apparently Tesco’s broadband customers, which were still using Vodafone’s LLU telecoms network, will be transferred across to the TalkTalk platform  by September 2015.

Tesco introduces Hudl 2

Tesco's Hudl2Major supermarket chain Tesco said it will release its second generation Hudl tablet on the 9th of October.

It comes in eight different colours, has a larger 8.3-inch HD screen at 1920 x 1200 pixels, and uses an Intel Atom 1.84GHz quad core chip. It comes with 16GB of memory – that can be expanded to 48GB.

The unit will cost £129 although Clubcard customers may be able to buy it for as little as £65.

The unit runs the Android Kitkat 4.4.2 operating system. The Hudl 2 can also be customised with various accessories.

The device has a five megapixel rear facing camera and a front facing 1.2 megapixel camera. It claims eight hours of video batter life for the unit.

The unit comes with a built in parental filter.

Tesco finds huge black hole in accounts

tescoMajor British grocer Tesco unexpectedly announced that it had overstated its profits to the tune of £250 million.

It has launched an inquiry into the accounting mess and in the meantime has suspended four senior executives until the inquiry is complete.

Those four executives are believed to include Tesco UK’s MD, Chris Bush.

Deloitte will head up the inquiry and as a result of the mess Tesco will deliver its next financial results in late rather than early October.

Dave Lewis, who took over the helm of chief executive officer earlier this month said that the company had uncovered a serious problem and acted to address it.

Shares in the giant grocer fell on the unexpected news by as much as 10 percent.

It is the third profit warning Tesco has made this year and it is believed the overstatement is caused to accounting anomalies in the food division.

Tesco stays in the doldrums

tescoSqueezed between Aldi and Lidl at the low end and Waitrose and Marks & Sparks at the high end, mega-grocer Tesco delivered annual profits of £3.3 billion but that’s a fall of six percent  compared to the previous year.

It’s businesses abroad also showed declines while Philip Clarke, the Tesco CEO, maintained in a BBC radio interview this morning that he would turn the business round in three years. Other giant grocery chains, including Morrisons, Asda and Sainsbury’s are all being dented by the Aldis and Lidls of this world.

Part of his plans are to revamp the 600 plus Tesco stores in the UK and to concentrate more on its online sales.

Online sales grew 11 percent, and Clarke said this morning that Tesco is ready to take advantage of smartphone and tablet trends.

Tesco: Very Lidl helps

tescoMegagrocer Tesco said its sales fell by 2.4 percent over Christmas 2013 compared to Christmas 2012.

And another big grocer, Morrisons said its sales fell by 5.6 percent in six weeks up to 5th of January, blaming competition by the likes of Lidl and Aldi.

Morrisons has been slow to sell stuff on the internet.

Philip Clarke, MD of Tesco said it was going to open lots more smaller Tesco Express shops. These shops sell stuff that’s slightly more expensive than the big megastores.

And there’s more woe on the High Street – Marks and Spencer sales for clothes and home kit fell 2.1 percent in the last calendar quarter of 2013.

Tesco feels the economic squeeze

Philip Clarke, TescoThe politicians might say that things are getting better but a multinational corporation seems to have its finger on the pulse of the UK economy and it’s not happy.

Tesco released its interim management statement for its third quarter and the outlook is far from rosy.

According to Philip Clarke, the Tesco CEO, like for like sales fell by 1.5 percent, mostly due to a weaker grocery market.

He said: “Continuing pressures on UK household finances have made the grocery market more challenging for everyone since the summer and our third quarter performance reflects this.”

He said its decision to open fewer stores is holding back Tesco’s performance “in the short term”.

Clarke said that “consumers are still managing the effects of an unprecedented period of declining real incomes and a higher cost of living. The average spending power of a typical UK household is around 10 percent below its 2007 peak in real terms”.

Things are not going particularly swimmingly in its foreign markets, Tesco said.

Brits just want to keep taking the tablets

Santa CalusIn the buildup to Christmas it seems that the hot item for Santa’s stocking are tablets.

That’s according to nevouchercodes.co.uk, which today reports there’s an 18 percent increase for people searching for tablets.

But the white box buys may not fare so well, because the company says most of the searches are for iPads, Samsung Galaxy tablets and Amazon Kindles.

MD of the company Steve Barnes said that whiole people are searching they’re not buying yet.  Tesco and Argos entering the fray makes tablets more affordable as a gift, he said.

People are also searching for deals on Xbox360s and PlayStation 3s because they’re expecting older models to be discounted in advance of the release of new consoles.

Argos takes on Tesco with tablet

Argos MyTabletRetail outlet and online firm Argos has launched the MyTablet for less than £100 – in a bid to challenge Tesco’s recent tablet introduction, the Hudl.

The seven inch unit comes with pre-loaded games and apps and also includes an Argos app so you can shop for items including, er, tablets.

The unit has a 1024×600 LCD, and 8GB of memory – but you can expand the memory to 32GB using a Micro SD card. The processor is a 1.6GHz dual core chip, while the OS is Google’s Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2.

Argos said the unit is aimed at teenagers and has built in parental controls. It comes in pink or silver colours. The unit has two megapix camera and a front facing camera. It supports wi fi and Bluetooth and apps pre-loaded include the BBC iPlayer, Angry Birds, an e-book reader, Facebook and Twitter.

The unit goes for sale tomorrow from argos.co.uk and argos.ie, as well as the 700 shops it has in the UK and Ireland.

Nermin Hadjarbegovic, our Bosnian reported:: “This is just a publicity stunt.”

Tesco profits dented

Tesco HudlMegagrocer Tesco said it saw a 23.5 percent slump in its profits for the first half of its financial year to the end of August.

Its non-UK businesses saw bigger profit drops – European profits fell by over two thirds it said.

Profit margins fell from 5.4 percent to 4.9 percent but the sheer size of Tesco saw a £1.6 billion profit.

Philip Clarke, Tesco’s CEO, claimed that performance in the UK was stronger in the half, especially in its online food sales business.

He said: “The challenging retail environment in Europe has continued to affect the performance and profitability of our business there.”

Tesco recently released its low price Hudl tablet (pictured).

Cheap tablets are getting even cheaper

cheap-tabletsNow that even grocers are targeting the 7-inch tablet segment, the dog eat dog of cheap tablets is getting even more brutal. Chinese white-box players are further cutting their prices, according to channel sources cited by Digitimes.

A quick glance at tablet prices in the UK and the continent reveals that there are already heaps of tablets priced at £99 or less, with some truly cheap models going for as little as £49.

What’s more, some big vendors like Asus, Acer and Lenovo also have products at or close to the £99 mark and let’s not forget Tesco’s impressive Hudl, which is priced at £119 yet it features a much better screen than similarly priced tablets.

Google and Amazon had a thing or two to do with this trend. The Kindle Fire and Nexus 7 series of tablets reinvented the £199 space last year, so quite a few companies introduced similar products and similar price points. As a result, the white-box crowd has no choice but to run for the hills, or in this case for the bargain bin.

This doesn’t appear to bode well for big brands. It was recently reported that Google was forced to slash orders for the second generation Nexus 7 due to soft demand. People who want cheap tablets seem to be going after even cheaper models and the £/$199 price point is now practically reserved for high-end 7-inch tablets.

In addition, the market share of small white-box outfits is going up, from 26 percent in Q2 2012 to 39 percent in Q2 2013. The top five brands are losing share, but if the prices of entry level Asus, Acer and Lenovo tablets are anything to go by – they are not far behind in the race to the bottom.

Tesco launches fresh Hudl tablet

tesco-hudl-tabletTesco has officially launched its first tablet, which is coincidentally probably the first tablet ever launched by a grocer. On a more serious note, the humble Hudl tablet doesn’t look bad at all. In fact, it is much better than we expected.

It features a 7-inch screen with a rather high resolution of 1440×900, which is marginally better than 1280×800 on the first generation Nexus 7 and Nvidia’s new Tegra Note. Tesco says it packs a quad-core processor clocked at 1.5GHz, but we suspect this is a Cortex A7 part due to the relatively low price of the device, which is just £119.99.

The tablet also features 16GB of storage and a microSD slot, along with dual-band Wi-Fi and Blinkbox support. Naturally, it can also be used for online shopping and it can access a wide range of other Tesco digital services. 

The tablet will be available in retail and online. There is a choice of four lively colour options and Tesco Clubcard holders will be able to buy it at a discount, which means many shoppers will pick it up for less than £100.

“Hudl is a colourful, accessible tablet for the whole family to enjoy. The first stage in our tablet offering, it’s convenient, integrated and easy to use with no compromise on spec. Customers are quite rightly very discerning about the technology they buy so we knew we had to be competitive on all fronts,” said Tesco Chief Executive, Philip Clarke.

Clarke does have a point – with a 1440×900 screen and a snappy processor, the cheap Hudl doesn’t seem to compromise on spec. Most white-box tablets in the £100 – £149 range ship with inferior screens and slower chips, not to mention that many of them cost a few pounds more than the Hudl.

The Hudl will be very disruptive in this segment.

Tesco in “unprecedented” Blinkbox promo pre tablet launch

tescoBritish supermarket giant Tesco may be showing off its rumoured own-brand tablet as early as next week, as it steps up the marketing drive of its content platform Blinkbox.

An invite sent out to UK press reads: “We’ve got something to show you. #LetsHudl.” Hudl, PCR-Online points out, was registered as a trademark earlier this year for use on a tablet device. The rumours so far suggest Tesco will be aiming for the cheap and cheerful market, with analysts telling us the company will use it to leverage its content service, Blinkbox – not dissimilar to Amazon’s approach with the Kindle Fire.

It’s expected the device will launch at around the £100 mark. Doing so would make it one of the cheapest ‘big’ brands on the British market. Whether buyers will flock to the brand is another question.

It’s expected Tesco will stuff the tablet with its own streaming services such as Blinkbox and Clubcard TV. Most think it will run on an unmodified version of Android.

According to PC Pro, which claims to have seen the specs, the Tesco tablet will sport two bog standard cameras, ship with GPS, Bluetooth, and the usual MEMS in an accelerometer and a gyroscope.

The device will reportedly feature a seven inch IPS panel at 1280×720, and under the bonnet will be a 1.6GHz quad core processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB included storage and a slot for MicroSD.

If Tesco is indeed launching a tablet it’s a bold move by the retailer. Tesco recently announced it was to slash inventories of other electronics and focus on selling more traditional supermarket products.

Monday’s announcement will coincide with what Marketing Week calls a “nationwide in-store marketing blitz” for Blinkbox, including promotions across 500 stores offering discounts on drinks, snacks, DVDs, CDs, and videogames.

In tandem, Tesco plans a major radio, print, digital, outdoor ad, and “high profile” TV ad campaign to launch in October. Blinkbox’s marketing exec Kate Simon told MarketingWeek the scale of investment is “unprecedented”.

Blinkbox plans to differentiate itself from other streaming services such as Lovefilm, Netflix and Sky, touting, for example, its superior range of blockbuster films and TV shows compared to rivals.

Tesco Broadband intros £2/month deal

tescoTesco Broadband is offering potential customers the chance to sign up for £2 a month, if they’re quick, which the company boasts is “cheaper than a box of eggs”.

Not quite. Customers who sign up will also have to pay Tesco line rental at £14.90 a month for 12 months, putting the bill up to £16.90 per month for a yearly contract. A rolling 30 day contract is also available, but this will cost £40 to set up. For the 12 month contract, there will be early termination charges per month remaining. The deal is pretty good but certainly costs more than a dozen eggs, even if you are buying them from Waitrose or M&S.

As with many unlimited deals, Tesco is able to impose a fair use limit on broadband usage.

The supermarket offshoot boasts that the contract saves compared to BT, TalkTalk and PlusNet equivalents.

Evening and weekend calls are Included in the deal.

When asked about the purposes of this promotion, a Tesco spokesperson said “Tesco always looks at where it can help families by cutting the costs of its services”.

The offer is valid until the end of June.