Tesco Takes a Leaf from Amazon’s eBook with ‘Hudl’

Tesco has announced Hudl, a low-end tablet device designed to integrate with the brand’s growing range of digital services. In that sense, the UK retailer appears to be shadowing Amazon’s strategy.

Tesco, a popular UK-based retail brand has become known for its innovative use of multichannel technologies and an aggressive expansion strategy. Now the company is pushing even further into digital commerce with the announcement of Hudl, an in-house branded Android tablet.

Just as in Amazon‘s Kindle, Tesco’s new tablet is a ploy to coax customers into an ecosystem of content and products – especially as it comes cheaper for anyone bearing Tesco’s Clubcard loyalty card (£100 versus an RRP of £119).

Tesco has already built out a variety of digital services beyond straight-up online retail, including banking and entertainment, and by offering such an inexpensive device, the brand can expect to enhance its relationship with any person who purchases it. The company also purchased online bookseller Mobcast in the past year in what appears to be part of the groundwork leading to the production of Hudl.

Yet according to Tesco’s CEO, Philip Clarke, this tablet is only the beginning.

“Hudl is a colourful, accessible tablet for the whole family to enjoy. The first stage in our tablet offering, it’s convenient, integrated and easy to use with no compromise on spec,” he said in a statement on the matter. “Customers are quite rightly very discerning about the technology they buy so we knew we had to be competitive on all fronts.”

While the device appears set to be launched in the UK at the end of September, Tesco hasn’t yet specified if it will expand Hudl’s reach into other markets anytime after that. Of course, the brand’s strongest market is its home market, but the addition of a low-end tablet could help it accelerate growth in other, emerging markets such as China or India.

What are your thoughts on the Hudl? Is this a strategy that could work for any of our local retailers?

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