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Tesco.com - A Rare Profitable Dotcom

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Case Details:


Case Code : ITSY025 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 400;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 400 + Shipping & Handling Charges extra


Internet Companies
Case Length : 14 Pages
Period : 1990-2003
Pub Date : 2003
Teaching Note : Not Available
Organization : Tesco plc
Industry : Retailing
Countries : UK


The case describes the evolution of Tesco.com, the online selling arm of United Kingdom's number one retailing company Tesco, into the world's number one online grocery seller by 2003. It explains the rationale behind Tesco deciding to tap the Internet to sell groceries in the mid-1990s. Detailed information is provided about the strategies adopted by the company to make this business a success; these include its unique 'pick-in-the-stores' model, delivery excellence, inventory management, customer service and website management.

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 Thereafter, the case studies the outcomes of these strategies and comments on the role of Tesco.com's success in its alliance with the US-based retailer Safeway in 2001. Lastly, the case examines the various possible pitfalls for Tesco.com in 2003, and briefly discusses its future prospects.


  Understand the rationale behind a brick-and-mortar market leader company in the retailing industry deciding to opt for building an online sales channel.


  Page No.
Getting it Right  1
Background Note  2
Launching Tesco.com  3
A Unique Business Model - The Ingredients of Success  4
Delivering Excellence  5
Inventory Management  6
Customer Service  6
Website Maintenance  7
A Unique Business Mode - The Outcome  7
The Safeway Alliance  8
A Few Reasons to Worry  9
Exhibits 12


Evolution, Tesco.com, online selling, arm, United Kingdom, number one, retailing company, Tesco, grocery seller, 2003, Internet, groceries, 1990, pick-in-the-stores, model, delivery excellence, inventory management, customer service, website management, US-based, retailer, Safeway, 2001, future prospects.

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