Oops! Tesco’s Gateshead mailout sends customers to Poundland
Ahead of the Gateshead superstore’s closure on 22 April, Tesco has mailed details of its temporary store to local customers – but they may have trouble finding it using the map provided.
While the leaflet gives the correct address for the former Kwik Save premises, the attached map locates the store on the wrong side of the High Street. Customers who follow the map to the letter will end up in Poundland – where Gateshead’s Woolworths used to be – much to the delight, no doubt, of the thriving discount retailer.
Even without the map blooper, Poundland – along with the nearby Iceland, Home Bargains and refurbished Heron Foods stores – will certainly be hoping to mop up some of the business that would normally have gone Tesco’s way. However, the mailout showcases the determined efforts that Tesco is making to hang on to its customers ahead of the rebuilt store’s opening in spring 2013.
In addition to promoting the temporary store – which will include a relocated pharmacy – the leaflet includes money-off vouchers worth £14 and provides details of the nearest full-line Tesco stores in Kingston Park and Chester-le-Street.
The flyer also reveals that the Chester-le-Street store will be served by a free shuttle bus to and from Gateshead, running every hour during weekday and Saturday daytimes.
Unusually, Gateshead is relatively poorly served by the big-four supermarkets: other than the soon-to-close Tesco, the nearest store to the centre is the already busy ex-Netto Asda Supermarket in Old Fold Road, while Sainsbury’s has a superstore a few miles away at Team Valley. Morrisons, meanwhile, currently has no presence in Gateshead at all, though that will change once new-build stores in Blaydon and Birtley open in the next year or two.
At only a fraction of the size of its predecessor, it’s inevitable that the temporary Gateshead Tesco will only ever cater for a small proportion of the current store’s customers. It will therefore be fascinating to see how Gateshead shoppers’ habits change over the next few months.
Free bus or not, my suspicion is that most will drift over to smaller local competitors rather than partake of the 25-minute trip to Chester-le-Street – and with Gateshead’s Tesco Extra still a year away from opening, it’s in those competitors’ hands to provide a level of value and service that stops their newly acquired shoppers ever drifting back.