Jack’s is owned by Tesco, and up to 60 stores will roll out across the UK in the coming months.
The first Jack’s store will be unveiled later today by Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis in Chatteris, Cambridgeshire.
Named after Tesco founder Jack Cohen, who launched the company 99 years ago, the new chain fits in with his original “pile-it-high, sell-it-cheap” ethos which earned him the nickname “Slasher Jack”.
Tesco hope to take back from of the 13.1 per cent market share currently enjoyed by Lidl and Aldi.
The German supermarket’s growth continues to outstrip that of the Big 5 despite many attempts at stemming the tide of customers switching to the cheaper retailers.
Tesco have fought back by slashing costs and closing unprofitable stores. Earlier this year it shut down Tesco Direct, the online homeware and furniture arm of the business.
They have also launched a selection of cheaper products under in-house brand names such as Butcher’s Choice.
And while Tesco is currently still the biggest supermarket in the UK with a 27.4 per cent share, they will be concerned by the merger of Asda and Sainsbury’s which would make the combined company the biggest chain in the UK.
Jack’s will open in the site of a building which was originally supposed to be a Tesco but has lain empty since 2014, when the retailer halted expansion plans.
Jack’s has until now been kept very quiet by Tesco, with staff and visitors asked to sign confidentially agreements, according to The Guardian.
The UK’s biggest retailer invited reporters to join chief executive Dave Lewis at its site in Chatteris, Cambridgeshire, on Wednesday.
It simply said it will be “sharing some exciting news” and did not give further detail, but earlier advertised for staff for a “new store format” in Chatteris.
Many of the stores set to open in the coming months will take the place of Metro stores.
Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at Markets.com, said of the launch to Sky: “I think having a separate brand is really interesting as it allows it to offer different products at different price points without affecting its core Tesco brand.
“It lets Tesco take the fight to the discounters on a level playing field – no need to dilute margins at core Tesco, just offer something different to the more value-conscious customers.”
In other attempts to protect their market share in the UK, Tesco announced earlier this year they would be joining forces with French supermarket Carrefour to help cut costs in a move some analysts have predicted could mitigate any price rises due to Brexit for shoppers.
Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis said: “By working together and making the most of our collective product expertise and sourcing capability, we will be able to serve our customers even better, further improving choice, quality and value.”