Can a Tesco exec school Amazon on physical retail?
What makes an executive who worked his way up from collecting shopping carts at a Tesco to its corporate suite leave the company after 31 years? Perhaps an offer too good to turn down from Amazon.com.
Tony Hoggett, who until last week was chief strategy and innovation officer at the British retailing giant, is making the move to Seattle to head up Amazon’s physical store operations beginning in January 2022. He was Tesco’s chief operating officer from 2018 up until moving into his most recent role in April of this year.
“It was a big decision to move on from Tesco but after meeting members of the Amazon leadership team and hearing the ambitions for the business and physical stores, I know it’s a journey and an opportunity that I want to be part of,” said Mr. Hoggett in a statement to the media.
He will move into the role of senior vice president of physical stores at Amazon and report directly to Dave Clark, chief executive officer, worldwide consumer. Mr. Clark said that a plan will be put in place over the next several months as it prepares to onboard its new executive.
Mr. Hoggett’s experience in grocery will be critical to Amazon’s ambitions as the company has begun opening more stores under the Amazon Fresh banner in the U.S. and UK. It also continues to operate and learn from its Whole Foods business.
Reuters reports that there has been some investor speculation that Amazon might be interested in pursuing a deal to acquire Morrisons. The British grocery chain signed a 2016 deal with Amazon to supply products for the Amazon Fresh service in the UK. Morrisons launched a dedicated platform for its own products on Amazon.uk last year and continues to offer delivery from its own distribution points through Deliveroo and via Ocado’s automated system. The chain also offers a click and collect service at its 447 locations.
Tesco is the current UK online grocery market leader, followed by Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons. Aldi and Lidl have gained share in the UK in recent years without the emphasis on digital embraced by its grocery rivals.
- Amazon hires Tesco veteran Tony Hoggett to run stores – Reuters
- Amazon scales its Just Walk Out tech for a full-size grocery store – RetailWire
- Whole Foods gets a lot right and wrong – RetailWire
- Amazon partners with a major grocer – RetailWire
- Morrisons customers can now get their entire weekly food shop delivered for free via Amazon’s website as online giant expands its grocery delivery business – The Daily Mail
- Morrisons free to use Amazon and Deliveroo in looser Ocado deal – The Guardian
- Click & Collect slots now available from 447 Morrisons stores across the UK – Morrisons
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What will Tony Hoggett bring with him to Amazon from Tesco? Will Mr. Hoggett’s UK retailing experience be an asset or a drawback as he enters his new role leading up Amazon’s physical store operations?