Amazon poaches Tesco lifer for bricks-and-mortar stores

Amazon has hired a veteran Tesco executive to run its bricks-and-mortar operation, marking the most recent skirmish between the two retail giants.

Tony Hoggett, who joined Tesco as a “trolley boy” in 1990, was appointed chief operating officer in 2018 and chief innovation officer earlier this year.

He will become Amazon’s senior vice head of physical stores in January, the latest high-profile figure to move from a supermarket to the trillion-dollar US company.

Amazon poached Tesco transformation director John Farrell as its head of special projects in March 2019.

READ MORE: Save the rainforest by ditching soy, Tesco says

Two months later, it hired Sainsbury’s commercial operations director Matt Birch to scope out sites for potential shops.

The Seattle-based business has recently branched into physical retail, opening its first Amazon Fresh store in Ealing this year.

Customers are automatically billed for items when they leave the shop, eliminating the need for checkouts or barcodes.

Amazon already has five shops around London, and is reportedly planning 20 openings a year from 2022.

Tesco has also trialled till-free shopping at its Welwyn Garden City branch.

Figures from Edge by Ascential show that Tesco, the UK’s largest retailer, will see its revenue overtaken by Amazon by 2025.

According to The Telegraph, Tesco chief executive Ken Murphy told staff that Hoggett had “made an incredibly valuable contribution” over his three decades at the business.

He added that a succession plan would begin soon.



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