Britain's Tesco beats rapid delivery rollout target

A general view shows a Tesco supermarket in Hatfield
A general view shows a Tesco supermarket in Hatfield, Britain October 6, 2020. REUTERS/Peter Cziborra

LONDON, March 23 (Reuters) - Tesco (TSCO.L), Britain's biggest supermarket group, has beaten its target for the rollout of its rapid delivery service Whoosh, it said on Thursday.

A raft of rapid delivery firms, including Getir and GoPuff, have emerged in recent years, prompting traditional supermarket groups like Tesco to rethink their business models.

After rapid expansion, a post-pandemic slowdown in demand has driven consolidation in the market.

Tesco launched Whoosh in May 2021 and the online service is now available from 1,000 Tesco Express stores, ahead of a target of 800 by the end of February 2023.

The group has recently been heavily promoting Whoosh, which offers a curated list of 2,500 to 4,500 products, delivered in as little as 30 minutes.

"We’ve beaten our own target and we are seeing growing evidence that customers love the quality, speed and convenience of the service," Greg Bertrand, head of Whoosh, said.

Shares in Tesco are up over 13% so far this year with monthly industry data showing it performing solidly.

However, this month the retailer has faced criticism from both suppliers and customers.

First it angered some suppliers of its online and Booker wholesale operations after telling them they will need to pay a new fulfilment charge if they want it to sell their products.

It then upset some customers after saying it would reduce the value of the rewards from its Clubcard loyalty scheme from June 14.

Tesco will report full year results on April 13.

Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Sarah Young

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