Tesco is preparing to take on the high street by expanding and rebranding its clothing offer ahead of an online launch in 2009.
The retailer said it needed to get its brands in order ahead of the web push, which would allow it to "truly compete with the high street".
This week Tesco revealed it had launched several new brands for autumn 07, rebranded and expanded its plus-size label and introduced its first designer accessories line under chief executive of clothing Terry Green. He confirmed to Drapers that his remit had now been extended to oversee all the retailer's non-food categories.
Tesco's volume market share for clothing and footwear has risen by 5% in the past year to more than 8%.
Digital advertising agency WARL, which has been developing Tesco's clothing website, told Drapers it would be difficult to get all the retailer's brands onto the site before 2009. Account handler Sukhi Kaur said: "In terms of navigation we need more time to get it up and running, but once it launches fully it will be fantastic. It's something that Tesco has to do if it wants to truly compete with the high street."
Tesco is also launching a premium menswear and womenswear sub-brand called Heritage for autumn, which will sit within its designer F&F Collection by Lee Rees-Oliviere. The 16-piece line will be 20% cheaper than the main F&F range, with a lambswool jumper retailing at £25 and a men's leather jacket at £90.
Rees-Oliviere said the Savile Row-inspired Heritage range had been designed to target more discerning, fashion-led customers. "The collection is a celebration of UK design, inspired by arts and crafts and vintage prints. We've upped the fashionability of F&F Collection," he said.
Heritage, which will be available in 25 stores, includes cashmere blend jackets for women and striped shirts and chunky cardigans for men.
Rees-Oliviere is creating F&F Collection's first accessories offer, with men's footwear planned for autumn. Leather-soled shoes will retail for £45.
Tesco has also renamed and expanded its plus-size brand. Previously called 1626 to reflect its size range, it has been rebranded True and now goes up to size 28. The retailer's Petite range has also been expanded by 20% for autumn.
Tesco recently announced it would launch the Ultimate Comfort line under its F&F label to target more mature shoppers (Drapers, May 12).