Knowing your audience

From WSJ’s short interview with Tesco CEO Terry Leahy:

Q: Tesco is famous for doing a lot of customer research with it’s loyalty program, the Clubcard.

LEAHY: It’s an important technical part of an even more important philosophy, which is to listen to customers—but really listen. Many organizations say they listen, but they’re very selective in what they allow themselves to hear. The great thing about customers is that they’re very honest people.

Another interesting bit from Leahy:

“Our team went over to live in the U.S. We stayed in people’s homes. We went through their fridges. We did all our research, and we’re good at research.”

AA Gill over at the Times Online has a lot to say about the new Whole Foods recently opened in London:

“The largesse of this born-again, healthy, feel-my-freshness emporium exposes one of those great rifts between Americans and us. Americans like quantity. The sight of towering displays of fresh food, a carnage of meat, oceans of fish, a sugary cornucopia of buns and breads, and vast wheels of cheeses, fills them with a sense of wellbeing and comfort.”

And more from Lisa Armstrong’s piece:

“First, 80,000 sq ft looks thrilling when you walk in but it is simply too big. I couldn’t find anything on my list, partly because Whole Foods isn’t laid out like a traditional UK supermarket, and partly because products are arranged according to country of origin. And no, I don’t know where tahini comes from.”

The U.S. Tescos aren’t open yet but I’m looking forward to them. Will the reaction be as strong as the British with their Whole Foods?

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