Tesco has apparently confirmed rumours that they are to open up a new 3rd party marketplace and allow merchants to sell on Tesco Direct. Selected retailers will be allowed to list non-food products on Tesco Direct alongside Tesco’s own offerings.
It’s expected that the long awaited launch of the new marketplace will go live in the first half of 2012. This isn’t that much of a surprise, the news has been out that Tesco has been planning a marketplace since this time last year.
We’ll reserve judgement until we hear more details – when exactly will the marketplace launch? How will the “selected” retailers be chosen? What will be the fees for selling on Tesco Direct? And how will those retailers selected to participate manage their inventory across yet another channel or will some of the existing 3rd party management platforms expand to add Tesco as a venue?
There’s little doubt that Tesco have a large enough active customer base to make this an interesting proposition, but currently there are too many unanswered questions for it to be worth more than a passing interest.