Outgoing Tesco clothing chief Terry Green has outlined plans to continue to drive online and own-brand fashion sales at the grocer after it notched up £1bn in full-year sales.
Green, who will step down from his full-time role at the end of this month, has set up a consultancy called Task Retail to advise Tesco one week a month on its online clothing strategy. He will also preside over the global expansion of Tesco’s F&F own brand as chairman of the F&F governance board, which ensures the brand has a consistent offer in all markets.
Task Retail will also work on projects with other non-competing fashion retailers in areas including expansion, online, restructuring and product development.
Clothing sales at Tesco in the year to February 27 rose 7.3% to hit £1bn for the first time, driven by a 15% increase in kidswear and a strong performance online.
The success of F&F, particularly in Central Europe, has led to Tesco becoming one of the largest clothing retailers by value in Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Poland, Tesco said. F&F has also launched in four Asian markets, and is now sold in 10 countries.
Green said: “Clothing is going great guns and online is getting stronger all the time. We are still set to make F&F the biggest global fashion brand within five years and are adding new markets all the time.”
Tesco chief executive Sir Terry Leahy highlighted clothing as a key growth area for the retailer as rival Asda announced plans to become the number one UK retailer of non-food within five years.
Leahy said: “We are also benefitting from scale with the launch of F&F into new markets. As the economy recovers, we expect to see a substantial upside in clothing and non-food in general.”
Tesco will launch an F&F diffusion range in May aimed at the younger 16 to 24-year-old market, called F&F Trend. The range, available in sizes 6 to 18, includes tulip-shaped dresses in vivid prints at £16, tie-dye body-con dresses for £16 and a leopard print all-in-one at £18.
Tesco’s full-year underlying pre-tax profit rose 10.1% to £3.4bn. Non-food sales rose 6.2% to £13.1bn.