GROCERY giant Tesco unveiled its first foray into the consumer electronics market yesterday with the £119 Hudl tablet.
Tesco said launching a tablet is an important step, “meeting the 21st century needs of customers”.
The tablet’s price point missed analyst’s expectations, coming in above the £99 that was predicted last week.
While the launch will initially be limited to 1,000 UK stores, the company did not rule out a future international rollout of the device.
“Tesco reaches 20m customers a week… we are uniquely positioned to open up the tablet market to new audiences,” said Tesco chief executive Philip Clarke. “It’s clear to us that for those that have them [tablets], that they’re becoming part of everyday life.”
Hudl comes pre-loaded with Tesco apps, tying into its digital offerings including BlinkBox, BlinkBox Music, the soon to launch BlinkBox Books and its online grocery shopping. Marketing chief Matt Atkinson said the tablet is “about having a single and direct relationship with our customers.”
Tesco said its objectives with Hudl is to meet a growing customer base that are shopping online and have less affiliation with their brick and mortar high street stores.
More than a quarter of UK households currently own a tablet according to Ofcom data.
Sebastian James, CEO of Dixons Retail, Europe’s second biggest electrical retailer, said earlier this month that although there is a market in Britain for cheap and basic tablets, consumers were often left disappointed by purchases and would rather have iPads.