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Alison Horner

Alison Horner
Group Personnel Director

Amanda Sankey

Amanda Sankey
Product Development Manager

Andrew Boyle

Andrew Boyle
Development Project Manager

Andrew Yaxley

Andrew Yaxley
Managing Director, London

Angela Porter

Angela Porter
Head of Brand Advertising

Barbara Young

Barbara Young
Chief Executive, Diabetes UK

Beatrice Forrester

Beatrice Forrester
Trainee Buyer

Benny Higgins

Benny Higgins
CEO Tesco Bank

Chris Bush

Chris Bush
Managing Director, UK

Dan Jago

Dan Jago
UK & Group Wine Director

David Wood

David Wood
UK Marketing Director

Derek Lawlor

Derek Lawlor
Category Director (Meat, Fish & Poultry)

Gerry Gray

Gerry Gray
UK Operations Director

Helen Dwyer

Helen Dwyer
Buying Manager

Jill Easterbrook

Jill Easterbrook
Managing Director - Developing Businesses

John Christie

John Christie
CEO Tesco Lotus

John Scouler

John Scouler
Food Commercial Director

Judith Nelson

Judith Nelson
UK Personnel Director

Ken Towle

Ken Towle
Managing Director of Central Europe and Turkey

Kevin Grace

Kevin Grace
Group Commercial Director

Laura Jewell

Laura Jewell
Product Development Manager

Lindsay Boswell

Lindsay Boswell
CEO FareShare

Luke Hickton

Luke Hickton
Innovation Team

Luke Vinogradov

Luke Vinogradov
Mobile Experience Director

Matt Atkinson

Matt Atkinson
Chief Marketing Officer

Michael Kissman

Michael Kissman
UK Communications Director

Mike Baess

Mike Baess
Tesco Food Writer

Mike McNamara

Mike McNamara
Chief Information Officer

Paul Jones

Paul Jones
Head of Design

Paul Morris

Paul Morris
Customer Communications Director, UK Marketing

Paul Ritchie

Paul Ritchie
CEO Tesco China

Paul Wilkinson

Paul Wilkinson
Innovation Ambassador

Philip Clarke

Philip Clarke
Group Chief Executive

Pornpen Nartpiriyarat

Pornpen Nartpiriyarat
Head of Trading Law and Technical, Tesco Lotus

Rebecca Shelley

Rebecca Shelley
Group Corporate Affairs Director

Robert Folly

Robert Folly
Store Manager

Robin Terrell

Robin Terrell
Group Multi-Channel Director

Sarah Mackie

Sarah Mackie
Head of Local Sourcing

Scott Deutrom

Scott Deutrom
Managing Director, Clubcard TV

Simon Belsham

Simon Belsham
Managing Director, Grocery Home Shopping, Dotcom

Simon Hay

Simon Hay
Chief Executive - dunnhumby

Steve Strachota

Steve Strachota
Director of Distribution for the UK & ROI

Tom Hind

Tom Hind
Group Agriculture Director

Tracey Clements

Tracey Clements
UK & Ireland Support Office Director

Trevor Masters

Trevor Masters
CEO Asia

Philip Clarke

Winning customers in a world of change

19 September 2012 By Philip Clarke

Trust is one of the themes of the speech I am giving today at the World Retail Congress. It is (surprise,  surprise) a room full of retailers from around the world but what is true for our industry is also true for other sectors. The potted argument is that consumers, armed with technology, have greater control than ever. At the same time they are under huge financial pressure and are using that greater control to ask whether retailers are on their side or not. What retailers – and business in general – must do is to be loyal to their customers, to work as hard at keeping them as they worked at getting them.

The starting point is that, if the nineties and noughties were characterised by care-free spending, we’re seeing something different in this decade. Not just consumers tightly constrained by their finances but a pride in value-seeking. It’s a psychological and social phenomenon as well as an economic one. It is about the satisfaction of finding value.

Technology is playing a big part: the communal, social activity of sharing tips, free-cycling, word of mouth and collective buying is all powered by digital media. Smartphones have made revolutionary change faster still. They have given birth to the always-on, networked shopper empowered like never before to find and share value – or the reverse – whenever or wherever they are. That’s not just for big ticket purchases like a new TV. Over half the visits to our Tesco.com website are to check prices – and this is our food site, not our general merchandise site. Individuals using the technology are powerful; individuals using technology together are all powerful.

If it sounds alarming to my fellow retailers it shouldn’t. It’s good news if we have the right attitude. Those same networked shoppers are fair. If they find a business worth praising, they do. What’s worth praising? A business which works hard to understand them, to help them, to anticipate what they might need and deliver it, perhaps when they don’t even really know they want it yet. It is about seeing that every person’s needs and wants are different and finding a way to meet them.

At Tesco, we’re using Clubcard to develop what I call mass personalisation. Clubcard itself is not new of course. What is new is being able to work the sales data harder than we ever have before. In the past we rewarded you based on what people a bit like you bought. I wasn’t happy that we used Clubcard to reward people a bit like you. I want it to reward you, with offers and coupons on the things you buy, not offers for products that people a bit like you might buy. That’s the attention to detail which we value as shoppers, the kind which makes us feel well understood and well served. So that’s the personalisation bit. Then we replicate it for millions of customers, which is the mass bit.

To achieve it, we need to make the data work harder but we also need to work harder. But it’s not about working harder to find new customers. We’re working flat out to better serve the customers we have, to be fair and trustworthy, to know our customers so well we know what they want next, to earn their lifetime loyalty by giving them ours.

It’s why six months ago I called a halt to what’s been called the space race – the rush to open ever more stores. New stores are about new customers, not loving the customers we’ve got. We needed to invest more in our customers, in the stores they are using today with better quality products and more staff. And if we’re investing in tomorrow’s customers, our money is better spent online because that’s where the future growth is. In the world of the social consumer, taking care of the customers you have is the best way to attract the customers you don’t.

I’m a retailer and that’s the way I think, but I don’t think it’s something just for retailers to think about.

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