The ‘Big 4’ UK Supermarkets (Tesco, Sainsbury, Asda and Morrisons) have battled through a
recession driven ‘Price War’ since 2012 (The Telegraph, October 2016). They now are being
confronted with ‘Follower’ brands (Aldi, The Cooperative, Waitrose and Lidl) encroaching on
their long established, market share: The ‘Big 4’ collectively holds 69% of the market, while
the ‘Followers’ share of 21% is collectively growing (Statista.com, March 2017).
“Increased Innovation and Investment” is cited as the key reason for this growth.
(Statista.com, March 2017).
Extended product and service ranges, concept stores, enhanced visual merchandising,
dynamic store design etc. all demonstrate the need to embrace and deliver innovation.
Partnerships between brands such as Amazon and Morrisons (Marketing Week, February
2016) and the suggestion that ‘Drive through’ supermarket shopping is on the horizon
(Telegraph, May 2017) are exciting consumers about the future of the ‘weekly shop’.
Examine Innovation and trends within the UK Supermarket sector:
1. Critically appraise the ‘Big 4’ Supermarket brands: Catalogue the main products and
services that they offer and map them onto the 4P’s model of Innovation Space (Tidd
& Bessant). Compare and contrast each brand clearly stating how ‘value’ is created.
2. Briefly, critically evaluate the major changes in the UK Supermarket sector over the
past 5-years i.e. new technology, changing market demands etc. Then in detail,
evaluate how one of the ‘Followers’ (of your own choosing) is embracing innovation.
Use Ducker’s ‘3 conditions for successful innovation’ to highlight your chosen brand’s
competencies and capabilities. Clearly specify their points of difference. (25 marks)
3. Develop creative insights into the ‘driving forces’ for innovation for the UK
Supermarket players, in the future. Think 5 years ahead; what can you predict and envision? Consider how our relationship with ‘shopping’ will change and where sources of innovation might originate. Use a model of your own choosing (not the 4Ps Model of Innovation Space) to showcase your predictions. (25 marks)